Few of you have ever heard of Ron Wayne.A lot of you have used the products that stem from his creation.All of you need to know his story because it’s a warning to all of us.
Along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Ron Wayne cofounded Apple Computer Inc. on April Fools Day, 1976. Yes, there was a third founder of Apple. But few people know that because just twelve days after he signed the agreement he himself drafted that would have given him 10% ownership of the company, he sold back his shares. For $800. If he had stuck it out, today he would be worth around $22 billion.
Instead he now sells stamps out of his home. And plays penny slot machines after midnight. A cautionary tale of what could have been.
Ron bailed on Jobs and Wozniak because he wasn’t sure about the future. Jobs spent a lot of money that Ron was going to have to pay the tab for initially. Wozniak was non-committal. And the prospect of starting a computer company just seemed too difficult and taxing.
Basically, Ron was afraid. Afraid that the payoff wasn’t going to be worth the work. So he quit. And missed out on billions.
Most of us are never going to really experience Ron Wayne’s story on the level at which he experienced it. Most of us are not going to be able to say that we missed out on being responsible for the birth of cool.
But I am afraid that many of us are going to sell out and accept an $800 payoff when we could have made billions. Not literally obviously. But I worry that instead of putting in the hard work and pushing through periods of uncertainty and difficulty, you’re going to take the easy way out and walk away. From your marriage that is struggling. From the calling you know you have received but is tougher than you thought it should be. From the risk you’re supposed to take.
That’s not to say that some people aren’t sometimes called to sell back their shares. The wife that is getting beat by her husband should not wait for a payoff down the road. Sometimes God calls you to a different ministry or career. To move to a new city. To play conservatively.
But more often than not, we sell out before the big payoff because we’re scared. Or we don’t want to do the hard work. Then we use God to justify a decision we have already made out of fear or apathy. And we never know what could have been down the road if we had kept persevering.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your story is not destined to be a cautionary tale of what could have been. God would rather raise you up to be an example for others of what can be. Of the incredible marriage that is possible through God’s grace and power. Of what God can accomplish through people who stay true to their calling.
God has a much larger payoff for you than the one you’ll receive if you give up now. Persevere. Stick it out. Push through. When the payoff comes, it will be worth the work and the waiting.
(props to Steven Furtick for this)