A Salute to Steve Jobs

Tonight Belinda and I sat down together and watched the 1 hour 20 min special on the life of Steve Jobs here is the link on my iPad2 and marveled at the legacy he leaves. I’ve been a PC guy most of my adult life. I thought I couldn’t afford the more expensive Apple products and I believed they were more hype than substance. I was sure the king of cool got my kids to drink the Kool-Aid. I was wrong. I know I should say that at least three times, once for each of my kids who kept telling me I was wrong. They were right. All six of my kids (that’s spouses included) bought Apple products and kept up relentless pressure on me to turn away from the dark side and see the light.

Finally I converted when Greg Wiens, my good friend and the leader of Healthy Growing Churches, bought me an iPad2. It was amazing—waaay better than I imagined. It was intuitive, fast, reliable, beautiful and it sounded fantastic. Immediately I carried it everywhere I went and I spoke from it the first opportunity I got. I can check email from anywhere, get to the internet easily, keep my mileage records, keep up with my budget, take pictures, write, listen, play and record. As quickly as I could I dumped my former cell phone (I’ll resist bashing it although I nearly threw it to the ground a hundred times it was so frustrating) and bought an iPhone4. Presto, problem solved from day one. Now if only AT & T was as reliable.

But this isn’t about the products it is about the person. Steve Jobs was undoubtedly a creative genius but what is inspiring to me is his dedication to change the world. He saw a world that only a few even imagined and most doubted could become real. His vision changed the computing world, the music industry, communication and even advertising. Where did he get the personal strength to know he was right? Where did the willpower come from to impose his brilliance on others who lacked the imagination, technical knowhow or dedication to find the truth? The depth of his conviction was astounding.

He had his personal flaws, after all he was human. He applied the same kind of demanding nature to the people around him causing even the best of them to wonder why he was so mean. He said he was only “fifty-fifty” on whether God existed adding,” you’d like to think that your consciousness would continue to exist but maybe it is like an off and on switch, click, and you are gone.”

So today I salute Steve Jobs and admit I was wrong about his products. I’m thankful and grateful I turned and I won’t go back. The sadness I feel in losing him is centered not as much in the loss of his productivity but in the realization that he was looking for something truly transcendent and I don’t know if he found it. Boy did he come close.

But there is nothing like meeting the Creator of the galaxies, the oceans, the Himalayas, the African savanna and the human body—not to mention love. As much as I enjoy the music on my iPod it pales in comparison. I really hope he made choices that led him to know the Trinity ‘cause heaven will blow even Steve Job’s great mind. I hope I meet him there someday. But if he isn’t there, heaven will not disappoint, even those addicted to Apple.