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 expectations, 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.”– Stanford commencement speech 2005
Steve Jobs With No Mode Of CommunicationPosted on October 10, 2011
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Incredible man, Steve Jobs. From a garage in 1976, he started the Apple Corporation—the undisputed leader in technology innovation. Self described as neither an inventor, a technologist, or an executive type, but even on his resume, as having a “vision thing,” he turned the vision into products we could have only imagined in our wildest sci-fi dreams just thirty years ago. I routinely peck away, communicate, am entertained and produce using those tech tools that were a part of the vision emanating from the garage. Many of you do, too. And, don’t forget– on his hiatus from Apple, he developed Pixar, just as a little sidebar to the page of his life.
Thirty-five years and eight billion dollars beyond the garage, America mourns his passing. Lots of gratitude is involved when we reflect on his accomplishments. What a blessing to live in a country, free of caste systems or government controlled business, in which a dream like this can come to fruition. What an intriguing phenomenon to watch the free enterprise system at work. And just how amazing is it that we have come to a point where we can speak into a phone smaller than a deck of cards and get a helpful response from an electronic map system or a weather radar system? It almost takes my breath.
But the words of Steve Jobs about death are the most profound thing about his life, to me:
Although, he wasn’t spot-on in his conclusions about the meaning of death, he certainly recognized some of the things death can swallow in the final analysis—pride, fear, failure, expectations. Death, in a world of urgent deadlines, is the ultimate one. It is the universal leveling of the playing field. Steve Jobs is now without technology. There is no means of mass communication, no i-pad, no i-pod, no i-phone, no internet at all. It is just Steve Jobs, all by himself, coming to terms with the One who has limitless wireless capabilities, infinite memory storage and command response from the universe, itself. Only one thing now matters as he reckons with His Creator. That thing cannot be purchased, invented, or devised. But it is the product of vision. It is the true visionary who is hard at work in this life on something that will both outlive her on this planet and travel with her beyond the grave.
I have an idea that, if this earth is still about its spinning business in a thousand years, names like Galileo, Einstein, and Jobs may be in the same chapter in whatever sort of scientific information exchange system has emerged. But, whatever the system might be, all of those men will be without it. They will be conscious, but completely unable to communicate to humanity the stark reality of the only thing that matters. Hmmm, Steve Jobs will be unable to communicate. And I will be and so will you. Just like the rich man in torment, we will be somewhere. We will recognize each other. But we will not have the luxury of communicating with or advising those who still walk the face of the earth (Luke 16: 19-31).
I am thankful that Cindy Colley, as small as she is on the tiny blue dot in the universe that we call earth, can, through the grace of God, personally know the One who made the mind of Steve Jobs. I am thankful that He is aware of and active in my miniscule little sphere of earthly influence. I am thankful that, because of the Extreme Visionary of heaven, I, too, can have a “vision thing.” When the i-technology has long since and repeatedly been replaced, the vision of heaven will be as fresh and new and pristinely up-to-date as the moment Jesus went to prepare it for me (John 14:1-3).