Welcome to “How You Living?” a transformative podcast featuring best-selling author, inspirational speaker and minister, Dr. Rick Rigsby—and, now, Dr. Rick.
Dr. Rigsby: Hello there, friends. I am thrilled that you tuned in today. I want to talk to you about something. How about that for an opening? But it's true. I don't know many people that are in love with the notion of waiting, but waiting is what I want to talk about today.
Let me just start with a personal confession. I hate to wait. I hate waiting for anything. I don't like traffic jams. I don't like crowded freeways. I don't like crowded and busy stores. I tend to walk the other way or drive the other way from any kind of mall environment. I detest long lines and I refuse to shop during rush hours. [01:06.2]
At 65, I'm a baby boomer. That's right, I was born between 1946 and 1966, like about 71 million folks in America today. I'm conditioned, though, to wait. I mean, can you imagine how later generations must feel about waiting? I'm talking about my kids, my millennials known as Generation Y born between ’77 and ’95. There are about 72 million of you folks. Or how about my younger boys, Generation Z born between ’96 and 2010? About 67 million of you. Or how about my grandchildren who represent Generation Alpha born 2011 and afterward? These generations have been socialized to wait for absolutely nothing. [02:01.3]
So, when I talk to my children and my grandchildren, they're going, “Gosh, when were you a kid and what in the world were you spending all that time doing waiting?” But they don't understand, we baby boomers had to wait for popcorn to pop, come on, y'all, for the bank to open, for television to return back on the air every single morning because the night before we would hear, “We've reached the end of our broadcast today.”
We'd have to wait for food to cook on the stove, for songs to come out on records. That's right, records. We had to wait for the news and we had to wait for the sports. We had to wait for the weather. We had to wait before we could fill up our Blue Chip stamp books with enough stamps to redeem a gift. We'd have to wait for the library to open or the encyclopedia to arrive. We'd have to wait two weeks to get pictures back from being developed at the drug store. Imagine that today. [03:04.6]
We even had to wait for movies to be released in theaters. In fact, I remember you had to wait a long time for your favorite movie to be released during a particular season. For example, in my home, we loved Mary Poppins. We knew that Mary Poppins would come on around Easter time. We knew that the Wizard of Oz would broadcast around Halloween. We knew that every Thanksgiving night, Jason and the Argonauts would come on. We knew it was Christmas season when Charlie Brown and Snoopy would help us usher in the holidays. And during that Christmas time, we would watch Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and The Sound of Music. We had to wait until certain times of the year, I'm telling you, to watch our favorite movie.
My millennial son simply cannot relate. Even though they were born in the ’80s and the ’90s, there was microwave popcorn, instant meals, ATM machines, 24-hour television, including MTV, the internet, and DVDs. [04:07.4]
Now, our younger sons born in the 2000s, these are the Gen Z-ers, they really cannot wait. They cannot relate to waiting. Music, downloads, specialty channels, streaming services, digital platforms for all things social media, if it takes more than 30 seconds, my Alpha grandchildren move on. I mean, I'm trying to imagine any of these kids waiting for a film to be developed.
But here's the bottom line, friend. There is an inherent value to waiting, a hard sell, but a valuable commodity. The Bible teaches us that when we wait, our strength will be renewed. I am learning that not only am I strengthened, but the process of waiting forces my patients to develop and my faith to grow. When I've exhausted all avenues and nothing changes, I run out of options and I am forced to wait on the Lord. This is not a bad thing. [05:09.2]
I am discovering that when I wait, the value placed upon that which I am waiting for increases exponentially. There is something supernatural about waiting on the Lord. This simple truth was reinforced recently, around 4:30 in the morning, to be precise.
You see, my father and mother had two children, two boys, and I continued that cycle of bringing four boys into the world. Even my brother has a son. But everything changed recently. After waiting three generations, our granddaughter was born, the first girl born on my father's side in three generations. You know what? When I held her for the first time, I didn't think one second about all the years I had to wait. [06:05.0]
I want you to consider, just for a moment, all those folks who have had to wait and the failures they endured before success came, and I hope that you'll begin to see a very positive correlation between waiting and perseverance, waiting and patience, waiting and eventual success.
Abraham Lincoln probably would not have been elected in this day and age. He encountered decades of failure before being elected president of the United States.
How about this? Winston Churchill flunked the sixth grade. He was subsequently defeated in every election for public office until he became prime minister of the UK at age 62.
Albert Einstein did not speak until age four. He was not reading until age seven. In fact, teachers described him as "mentally slow. That's right, Einstein mentally slow. [07:05.8]
How about Henry Ford who failed and went broke five times before he succeeded?
Author Jack London received 600 rejection slips before he sold his first story. My goodness.
How about R.H. Macy who failed seven times before his New York City store caught on?
My favorite is Walt Disney, fired by a newspaper editor because he, quote, “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Disney would eventually go bankrupt several times before he succeeded.
Colonel Sanders, the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, right? His recipe was rejected over 1,000 times before a restaurant accepted it.
Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing a light bulb before it worked. [08:00.0]
The Bible teaches that because of her father, Rachel had to wait 14 years before she could marry Jacob. In fact, in almost every story in the Bible, God had his people wait. Isn't that interesting?
Noah waited years to see the flood water. Moses waited 40 years and still did not see the Promised Land. David waited 15 years from the time he was called to be king until the time he wore his crown. Abraham and Sarah, let's just say they waited a long time to become parents, and Isaac, and on and on and on.
You see, friends, I really believe that as human beings, we are conditioned to either look back or forth, but rarely to live in the moment, and living in the moment requires that you wait, saver, appreciate, learn to be content. Think about it. We're either living in the past or we're living ahead. [09:04.0]
Think about the movies, the stories, the books that are laced with nostalgia, that beckon our hearts back to a more simple time, or think about the conversations that we have that push us toward the future, excite our passions, as we can't wait to go on that date or can't wait to visit that place on vacation.
Let me give you a very personal example. I live in Texas, and if I'm sweltering in 100-degree August heat, I'm thinking of the few glorious days of winter we have here. At the time of this particular podcast taping, we've been snowed in for several days and are experiencing rolling power outages. The thought of sweltering heat in August, frankly, sounds heavenly.
I can remember that when my wife was pregnant, we couldn't wait to have the baby and we couldn't wait for the baby to be born, and we couldn't wait for the baby to talk. Now we can't wait for the babies to be quiet. [10:06.2]
We couldn't wait for our babies to crawl. It seemed like it took them forever to learn, to walk and in the blink of the eye, they're driving and in college and working, and having families of their own, and now we can't wait for them to come home for a visit.
Friends, I'm beginning to realize one thing that the key to this thing called life is learning to appreciate and enjoy the season you are in. You see, this puts waiting in its proper perspective. In other words, I've been thinking this thought. Waiting is an important part of the process. It is important as the conclusion. Waiting is the journey, right? The conclusion is reaching the goal. It's the icing on the cake. [10:58.5]
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, especially as I watch teams win championships. They've reached the climactic moment of that particular year. They're at the apex, the top of the mountain, and what do they talk about? The journey. Then, after celebrating for a short time, they're looking on to the next journey. Waiting is an important part of the process. It's the journey. It puts in clear perspective for me the saying that good things happen to those who wait.
Consider this. When we wait, our priorities become clear. Boy, isn't it easy to get sucked into activities that have nothing to do with our purpose that drain our energy. Time has a beautiful way of sifting the important from the fluff. [11:52.0]
Number two. When we wait, we develop perseverance. Think about all of those people who just kept going, despite failure after failure. Persistence is defined as doing something despite the difficulty and still achieving success. I believe Thomas Buxton said it precisely when he said, quote, “With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.”
Number three. Waiting teaches patience. I pray for patience all the time, but I do very little to grow my patience. I've often thought about all the knitted blankets I've received from grandmothers. I've been thinking lately about all of the knitted blankets each of my children have received, and then I think of my lack of patience and wonder if I would have the patience to hang in there and to knit anything, and then I wonder whether knitting for grands may be a thing of the past. I pray not. [13:00.7]
Number four. I think when we wait, it forces us to be more resourceful. You learn to work with what you have. Friends, if the last five days of being snowed in in the midst of rolling power outages in the midst of a global pandemic haven't taught me anything, it has taught me how to be more resourceful by using what I have.
Here's the bottom line, friend. Successful people realize that waiting is part of the process. The problem is we live in an outcome-oriented culture, not a process-oriented culture. When you value waiting, you literally are bucking the trend, but it's the process, it's the journey along the way that becomes our counselor, our teacher, our navigator, our best source of wisdom. [14:02.4]
So, the next time you hear, “Thanks for calling. The wait time is 20 minutes,” instead of getting mad at an automated voice, why not pull out a pen and a piece of paper and an envelope and a stamp and write a note to a friend. Actually, force yourself to look up the address and put the stamp on the envelope and mail it. In fact, in a future podcast perhaps, I might share with you the benefits of a handwritten note, but you'll have to wait for that one.
In the meantime, until we meet again, this is Dr. Rick asking you the most important question I can ask. How you livin’?
Are you ready to make an impact in your world right now? Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Dr. Rick wants to give you the first chapter of his bestselling book, “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout”, absolutely free. Just go to www.RickRigsby.com/FreeGift to get the print or audiobook right now.
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