Steve Jobs Said Life Is About Making Big Choices

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Apple’s new releases of souped-up iPhones iPads and MacBooks turned my thoughts to Steve Jobs. The company now has 250 billion in cash in the bank and most of it is due to Jobs’ genius.

He’s been dead now for over 7 years, and most of us do not give him the credit he deserves. The truth is Jobs deserves most of the credit for transforming cell phones into pocket computers. Even though you may not own one of his iPhones, the phone you do own works like it does because of what he did with the iPhone.

As I watched testimonial after testimonial when Mr. Jobs died, I couldn’t help but appreciate how much Steve Jobs accomplished – much of it over the last ten years while he was battling pancreatic cancer and recovery from a liver transplant. Jobs was a very private man, so we’re not yet quite sure about the cause of his death. But we can be sure it was complications from either cancer, or his subsequent liver transplant. His death was a great loss and a great life cut short. He was our present-day Henry Ford!

It was a 2005 speech that Jobs made to the Stanford University graduating class that gave me the most insight into how this man viewed life and, more particularly, his own death:
“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.”

Mr. Jobs went on to say:

“About a year ago (2004), I was diagnosed with cancer…No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

Steve Jobs was correct. No one, even a Christian, wants to die, even though they know they’re going to heaven. Death is a common destination and I have come to realize that the older I get, my days really are numbered.

Even though Mr. Jobs was an avowed Buddhist, there is great hope for our unsaved, older friends in his words: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool that I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life”.

We need to remember these words when we think there is no hope or chance of salvation for the aging unbeliever. Maybe our unsaved love ones and friends aren’t as cool to the Gospel as we would like to believe. Perhaps, there is a door on their heart that will hear the knock and respond.

We are taught that the best way to reach someone with Christ is to find common ground on which both of us can stand. For the older unbeliever, death is a common destiny we share. But it doesn’t have to be gloomy, and we shouldn’t be reluctant to approach them, thinking they’ve heard it all before and have grown cold to it. I believe all ground is fertile at the Cross. Just remind that friend of yours who doesn’t know Jesus Christ that when we understand our days really are numbered. We also understand that we have the opportunity to make some better choices…or as Steve Jobs put it: Big choices.

Note to Editors: Steve Jobs June 14, 2005 Commencement Address to Stanford University came from the Stanford University website and may be found at /news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

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