Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weighing the weight of waiting

"In a world of what we want, is what we want, until it's ours" is a lyric from Train's song Calling All Angels. Pretty deep insight, right? After all, how many times have we desperately wanted something and when we finally got it, we took it for granted?
Is that just how we are as human beings? Or is it something else? Another popular saying is "The best things in life are worth waiting for." Why is that exactly? Is it because once we actually get it, we say, "WOW! That was so worth the wait!" Let me suggest another meaning to that saying: it isn't the actual getting of the item that makes it "worth it", it is the fact that we had to wait to get it.
Alright, that's a deep concept--but hang in there with me for a moment. Let me give you an example. My oldest daughter, Kelley, really wanted an ipod touch for her 14th birthday--so much so, she told my wife and I about it last March. With her birthday not until September, and the cost of an ipod touch, my wife and I struck a deal with her: If she would save up $100, we would pay the rest for the ipod. That gave her 6 months to do so.
As a 14 year old, she can't exactly go out and get a job. She can, however, save her allowance as well as the money she would get from occasional babysitting gigs. I don't know about you, but the thought of saving $100 when I was 14 seemed downright impossible--but she did it.
Then came the next part. A few weeks before her birthday, it is announced that there is a new version of the ipod touch coming out. It was so new, we had to order it ahead of time to make sure we'd have it for her birthday.
It arrived, and she knew we had it, but we told her she needed to wait until her birthday--which was about a week away. She was so excited, she actually counted down the days. Finally, the big day arrives and she is given her ipod touch.
I have no doubt in my mind had we gotten the ipod back in March when she first wanted it, it wouldn't have meant that much to her. Plus, she wouldn't have gotten the newer version. I am so proud of her for saving up the money and waiting for it. It was a valuable lesson--for her and for me.
I believe it wasn't the actually getting the ipod touch that made the whole experience wonderful, it was overcoming the challenge of saving the money and waiting for it that truly made it worth it.
Other great songs that deal with this concept are Queen's I Want It All and Chris De Burgh's I Want It, (And I Want It Now!).
Often what we want is only a mouse click away. Before clicking, perhaps we should pause for a moment and ask ourselves, "Is this worth waiting for?"

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