Recently I had the opportunity to hear a man by the name of Scott Rigsby share his life story. It was one of the most remarkable talks I have ever heard. About 25 years ago, Scott was riding in the back of a pickup truck with some other guys when an 18-wheeler tried to pass them and “clipped” the side of the pickup. He was thrown from the truck and dragged over 300 feet. In the space of 9 seconds, his life was changed forever. From that accident he lost both of his legs.
Although Scott suffered through some difficult moments, in 2005 his life turned around when he became the first double-amputee to successfully complete the Iron Man competition in Hawaii.
As I listened to all that he has overcome and accomplished in his life, I realized once again that many of the “problems” in my life were not really problems at all, but only small irritations. Scott has overcome insurmountable odds, and I predict that you will hear of him many times in years to come.
In his talk, he shared that there were five concepts that have helped him in his personal life. I quickly got out my notepad and jotted them down. I thought I would share them with you because each one is so powerful.
1. Have a dream
He pointed out that Helen Keller once said that it was bad to not be able to see, but it was even worse to have no vision. As you know, Helen Keller was blind, yet she had more vision than many people who have eyesight. Scott said that having a dream for what could be done, rather than complaining about the circumstances that had come his way, kept him going through the difficult times.
2. Gather good people around you
For many months after the accident, Scott spiraled downward into a place that was so dark he felt that he might never recover from it. Yet, through the love of family and friends, he did recover and is now devoting the rest of his life to helping people who have similar situations.
3. Operate in faith, not fear
Scott said that he continued to look upward, asking God to give him guidance each step of the way. There have been many miracles that have unfolded as he has allowed his faith to be his guide. Fear does no good and keeps you stuck, but faith will keep you strong and moving in the right direction. This does not mean that fear will ever completely go away; it simply does not have to be the driving force of your life.
4. Difficult obstacles are really opportunities to help you grow
This one was particularly hard for me to swallow. I am not sure how I would have responded if I had faced the “difficult obstacle” of losing both of my legs. However, Scott pointed out that these were the opportunities that caused his life to become what it is today. Although he would not have chosen the path that he is on, he has certainly excelled because of it. Scott now works with medical specialists, developing new methodologies for those who are physically challenged. He is constantly trying to better his life, as well as the lives of others. He has been through many, many surgeries, yet each of them has brought him, as well as his team of medical personnel, to new levels of understanding as to how to best treat insurmountable circumstances. He is truly an inspiration to those who listen to him speak!
5. Focus on the things that you can control and not on the things you cannot control
I was impressed to hear Scott say, “I know I cannot control the weather, but I can control my own attitude.” Many of us become upset about things we cannot control. None of us has power over the weather. However, every one of us does have control over our own individual attitudes and how we accept what comes our way. What a powerful truth to practice on a daily basis!
Scott has experienced those five truths, perhaps in a way that is much deeper than I ever will know. Nevertheless, I certainly agree with all five of them. I believe those concepts will give each one of us guidance, strength and hope as we move ahead in our life.
I am grateful to have had the privilege to hear Scott Rigsby share his story. Keep your eyes and ears open for the opportunity to hear or see him if he comes to a church, school or business near you. It will be a powerful experience! But, it will be even more powerful to practice the truths that he teaches on a daily basis.
Tip: Today’s “unthinkables” are tomorrow’s realities!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm