As we remember Steve Jobs for his contributions to the world I can’t help but feel that something huge is missing. Did Jobs waste his life? Now, this question might seem tasteless and completely absurd in light of his accomplishments. I use and love many of the gadgets Apple created and am not trying to say they aren’t important or valuable to society as a whole. What I am trying to say is that in the Kingdom-minded perspective of eternity my iPhone & Macbook Pro mean absolutely nothing.
I was saddened to hear the news of Steve’s passing, and even sadder when I watched the segment of a graduation commencement speech he gave (included below) where he made the comment that “… even people that want to go to heaven don’t want to die.” My assumption is that he did not get that idea from David Crowder. Steve was a practicing Buddhist. He was also viewed as a tyrant, a ruthless dictator and a man so obsessed with perfection that his employees routinely worked nights and weekends – some engineers reporting that they were estranged from their families.
Now, I don’t know anything about Steve’s heart and almost nothing about his personal life. I am certainly in no place to judge or look down upon him for anything as we are all equally sinful. But, it is important, I think, as a Christian to recognize that when Steve stands before God that no amazing gadget, no record breaking iPod sales, no culture shift in the way we listen to music and yes, even no iPhone invention will justify him before a perfect and holy God.
For me it’s important to recognize this not in just Steve but in many of the leaders, inventors, musicians and other contributors to the world. The question, “Yes, but how did they live in lieu of the Cross?” helps give a bit of perspective. Maybe this question is old, irritating and even tired to some, but, truth has a nagging way of being redundant, and we can become desensitized to it.
I personally will miss the excitement and incredible ideas that Steve brought to Apple and other companies. Suffice it to say that his inventions have changed the way we live, communicate, interact, and I believe because of this the gospel is more accessible than any other time in history. But, Steve is someone I respectfully refuse to imitate. There are qualities of many people, Christian or not, that I admire and try to learn from and incorporate. But, ultimately, it’s the cross that matters, not my qualities.
Again, please do not read this post as a judgment or in any way trying to take away the incredible technological accomplishments that Steve made. This is simply a reminder to myself that in the perspective of eternity this life is less than a heartbeat.