I was among the Angels fans that got pretty excited when it was announced that the Halos had acquired starting pitcher Zack Greinke from the Milwaukee Brewers for three prospects. With the trade deadline approaching, and the Angels needing to bolster their pitching, a deal seemed likely, but… this was not just a deal. It was BIG deal. Greinke is a past Cy Young winner and a number one starter that raises the Angels chances higher than would have seemed realistic just a week ago. And, that deal raised questions across the American League about how the other top teams—the Yankees, Rangers, Tigers—would respond to this preemptive strike. This is what makes the annual trade deadline such an exciting time for baseball fans. It is all about front offices making deals, and fans hoping that their team makes the really big deal that can move their guys into the World Series.
The point of the trade deadline, of course, is that teams are positioning themselves to reach their goals. For some teams, like Milwaukee, they are positioning themselves for the future. For others, like the Angels, it is a determination to win now. Trade deadline deals are completely driven by their goals.
The apostle Paul was also driven by a goal—to be more like Christ. He wrote to the church at Philippi:
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
He was driven by the desire to live for and be like the Savior—and was not dissuaded by the cost. The goal was so vital to him that the price tag was not an issue. That price tag included forgetting some things and driving for some things, which put him in position to press toward his goal. Almost everyone has goals, but we must constantly ask ourselves if those goals are worth the price tag attached to them. So, what goal is the target of your life, and what is it worth? To Paul, there was no question. The goal of the upward call of God in Christ was well worth any price.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain