Yesterday, October 5th, 2011, Steve Jobs passed into eternity. Though I did not know the man, I’ve lost family members to cancer. As many of you have as well. It is a horrible, insidious disease–killing painfully by degrees.
As such, I grieve along with his family and colleagues. There is grief along the way, watching your loved one slowly die. And there is grief when the end comes, because although expected, it is always too soon.
At least that’s the way it seems to me.
The impact of this one man’s life cannot be overstated. He forever changed the way we communicate with one another, the way we interact with our technology. And being in the technology industry, I owe Mr. Jobs an immense debt of gratitude for my livelihood.
Thank-you, Steve Jobs! You were a giant among men.
Please note that, as a Christian, though I understand it, I’m not down with the almost cultlike following he engendered amongst his “followers.” But I understand it–we all need something, someone, to believe in. And his light shone brightly indeed in an altogether too drab world. He was a lightning rod.
Although Steve Jobs was a brilliant man–a visionary–he was not God, and has–at far too young an age–gone the way of all men.
He belongs to the ages now. With his family, friends, colleagues, in our common humanity, we mourn our loss. And we mourn what might have been. What was yet to come from his mind.
Now that he is gone, as follower of Jesus Christ, I’m perfectly content to leave the final dispensation of his soul to God. Because God, unlike man, “looks on the heart.” The Bible tells us that “it is appointed unto to man once to die, and then the judgment.” And that judgment is entirely between God and Steve Jobs. Which, unlike the folks of Westboro Baptist, is where I will leave it.
Like John Donne before me, I will not send to know for whom the bell tolls–it tolls for me. And for you. Our days, like Steve Jobs’, upon this planet are numbered, and it is up to us to make the one life we’ve each been given count for the glory of God.
Making their lives count for God is indeed what Margie Phelps, and the folks of Westboro, think they are doing, but I think moreso than any Apple fanboy, they are guilty of idolatry. They have crafted a hateful God in their own image, rather than offer the world the Jesus of Calvary–the One Who died, the One Who bore God’s wrath for us. Anne Lamott said it well when she said, “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
Will Steve Jobs be in Heaven? I don’t know–that is up to God. His soul is no longer ours to pray for; we can only pray for the living. As such, we are obligated to pray for Fred, Margie, the other Phelpses, and Westboro Baptist–because we are mandated to do so from on high. There is still time for them to repent of their idolatry and hatred.
“Make the most of every opportunity,” my friends, “because the days are evil.”
What impact did Steve Jobs have on your life? How are you doing at praying for your enemies?