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If Only I Had….

No way to live.  No peace of mind in that condition.  That person that lives looking to the past and replays moments that would have changed everything “if” they had only been pursued and developed lives with great regret. 

Everybody has those thoughts that take you back to significant decisions that moved you into the position where you are today.  For most folks, we look back with few regrets and have lots of gratitude for where the LORD has taken us.  But for some, they measure their sorrows and disappointments from a poor choice, dumb mistake, or unfortunate circumstance that changed their course for a life time. 

The truth is every step we have is ordered by the LORD so that even our failures can be used for His glory at work in us if we only allow Him to redeem us and to move us where He wants us to be.  In fact, He can take what we would have believed were “fatal” to any effectiveness for His use and watch Him transform that very sadness into one of the greatest blessings He uses.

The original partnership agreement that launched Apple Corporation was dated April 1, 1976. And, the document has three signatures, not just two. The first is Stephen G. Wozniak. The second is Steven P. Jobs. And the third is Ronald G. Wayne. Ronald Wayne was the third co-founder of Apple, with a ten percent ownership stake. Remember that figure: ten percent. He wasn’t an engineer, but he had a significant role in the early days of the company: he designed the first Apple logo, he wrote the user manual for the Apple 1 computer, and in general he provided administrative oversight of the new venture. He was the unofficial adult in the room: he was in his forties at the time.

So why haven’t most of us ever heard of Ronald Wayne? Is he a wealthy recluse, staying out of the public eye while he sails around the world on his 300-foot luxury yacht? Perhaps he’s a philanthropist, distributing his millions to deserving charities. No. No, neither of those things is true. In fact, today Ronald Wayne is far from wealthy. Because just twelve days after these partnership documents were signed, he and the others signed a second document, the Dissolution of Partnership document. And in that document, he gave up his ten percent stake, in exchange for eight hundred dollars. Eight hundred dollars.

Let me ask you, would you be willing to pay $800 for ten percent of Apple Computer today? So, what happened? Well, Wayne had second thoughts. As a partner, he would have been liable for any debts incurred by the new company, and that was a risk. He had assets that creditors could come after if the company went broke. He also felt a bit out of his league with Jobs and Wozniak, these two whiz-kid geniuses. And so, he bailed. Took the $800 check and parted ways with them. And the rest is history.

Now, just for fun, let’s calculate what Wayne’s ten percent stake in Apple would be worth if he had held on to it all these years. Apple today is worth about $1 Trillion dollars. And so that ten percent stake in 1976 would today be worth about $1 Billion dollars.  Just let that sink in for a moment. Now, for the record, Mr. Wayne says today that he doesn’t regret his decision, and that it was based on the best information he had at the time. So, he’s made his peace with it. But you must suspect that more than once, over the years, he’s said to himself: “If only . . . “.   (Copied).