10/6/11

Steve Jobs and King Solomon

Here is an article of the 20 most memorable quotes from Steve Jobs, the recently deceased co-founder of the Apple empire.

Unless you live under a rock, you have been impacted by Steve's innovations in the worlds of the personal computer (Apple Macintosh), music (iTunes and iPod), the phone (iPhone), and personal technology (iPad).

Upon announcement of his death, Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere lit up as folks remembered his life and accomplishments. People respond to famous deaths in various ways, which I find very intriguing. Our own personalities are the focus of our comments, rather than the sentiments of the deceased. Concerning Steve, I read everything from commentary on the horrors of capitalism to the value of adoption. (I even shared my own opinions on the value of life, noting that his adoption may not have occurred in lieu of the more "popular" abortion options had he been born a few decades later than he was. What would the world have been like with no Steve Jobs?)

But two of Steve's quotes have really stuck with me. He has inspired me, even in death. Here's one from his Stanford University commencement speech in 2005:
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external circumstances, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
Here is an excellent example of agreeing with someone's vision of reality while disagreeing with their conclusions. Death shaves away all the excess. Our culture will laden you with the unnecessary, but the certainty of death puts all of those things in proper perspective. Hear the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 5:15:

The question for you and me is this: Do we make decisions as if we were going to die today? If we do not, why don't we? Does it really matter if all we did today was clock in and earn a paycheck? The wisdom of Solomon in Ecclesiastes is echoed in Steve's comments. Solomon comments on many things that are useless, a "chasing after the wind." Solomon reaches a different conclusion from Steve. Steve Jobs says to a group of young college graduates to follow their hearts. Solomon says to us to "fear God and keep his commandments." I personally tend to take Solomon's advice over Steve's.

Steve reminds us of this:
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful... that's what matters to me.
I agree. The riches of this world are utterly useless to us as human beings. I too want to go to bed knowing I did a God-thing that was something wonderful. God knows what His plan for us is - and it is epic. "For I know the plans I have for you... to give you a future and a hope." The Christian has hope. This is no small thing. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us that death is nothing to fear. It tells us where our hope is:
And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus. And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence-we have the Master's word on it-that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they'll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise-they'll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.
I want to serve Christ and go to bed at night saying I have done something wonderful. Thank you, Steve Jobs, for reminding me of that.