Articles

Reflections on the death of Steve Jobs

In Apple, art, Bible, computers, Evangelist on November 9, 2011 by mstevensrev

Steve Jobs is dead.  He had a huge influence in my life over the past four years as I managed localization for Apple.  There were multiple clients in the organization but most excited was Apple Retail which could be the most successful retail operating in the history of business and I got to be on the front line of their global launches.  Thought it was meeting with a client from the Apple Online Store when I stood five feet from Steve Jobs in the cafeteria.  This was roughly a year ago, and he was not well.  Even then he was mystifying, he was very dialed into the conversation he was in  and all I wanted to do was sit close enough to hear him.  There was no distracting him from whatever the matter at hand was that day.

So Steve’s death has caught my attention.  It started with this quote, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address  The day after his death I saw this quote.  I had just been fired from my job, basically the second job change in the same calendar year which I had left a very influential church in my life, taken on two car payments and a mortgage.  The biggest question I had was, “Who am I.”  Steve nailed it for me, take responsibility as I am my own person.

Then my friend Dick Staub of The Kindlings had a thoughtful and beautiful article picked up by the Washington Post titled What did Steve Jobs see at the end?  If you have not read it yet, you should.  Let go of judgment and walk through the article.
After these ideas have been in my head for a few days now, here is what I am taking away

1. Death should effect how I live

Most of my life is protected from having to think about death, and then it invades like a virus which I though we have cured.  The reality sets in that we do not make it out alive.  Every moment is a gift and what should I do with it.  There is no place for negativity, since I am able to make self pity a lifestyle choice.  Tomorrow will take care of itself, the things I am scared of are smaller than they appear in my head, and out of my mouth comes what lies in my heart and frankly it is often a big pile of shit unless I am intentional about filling what little time I have with love.  So I bought a Costco sized bag of bird feed, and put on Crocks to walk out and fill my two bird feeders in my year.  I stop like Brother Lawrence and give thanks for every dirty diaper I change or mess on the kitchen table I clean up, because this is life and if it were not messy it would not be real, and there will be a day when I die.
2. Adoption means you were chosen, not that you were abandoned
In self pity and fear I look out and ask “Where were you?”  I ask this of my friends, pastors, family, but most often God.  Looking back on my life those moments where I have seemed to be most left on my own, are exactly the moments where my deepest need is reached and I am loved the most.  Losing a job, being abuse, being kicked out of the Garden are awful and wonderful gifts when we have been hired again, loved unconditionally and moving into a mansion.  Roman 8:12-16, explains this well and intimately especially when it says, 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” My slavery has been fear and abandonment, and my joy and child likeness is my adoption.
3. Passion does not trump gratefulness
One seminary professor named Steve Brown warned us to not make the person who died Jesus himself, he didn’t tell us that while most people do get nostalgic regarding the one who has passed most of us have been big enough assholes at some point in life that people remember that too.  Steve Jobs treated people horribly at times.  I am not talking about his shrewd business actions, but rather the folklore around the Apple campus.  On you first trip to campus they warn you, “If Steve gets in an elevator with you get out before the door closes, he has fired people on a on floor ride.”  Also, “If Steve asks you what you do for Apple you say, ‘Sorry I’m not able to tell you I’m under disclosure and not sure if you’ve been disclosed.'”  A spouse of a co-worker of mine was the assistant to the Engineer who maintained Steve’s gear, laptop, phone, etc.  When the guy retried he moved positions rather than work directly for Steve in such a intensely demanding position.  People matter, they matter a great deal so much that my scripture tells me not a hair falls from anyones head without God knowing it.  I long to be passionate but not at the expense others.
4. Timing matters but so does presentation
Steve was a master at both, a true showman.  I know that Guy Kawasaki gets most of the credit with the term Evangelist, as he should, but there is no one better then Steve.  He might has well been the guy outside the bearded lady at the Circus, when he presented it was on my calendar and I made time to follow what was going on.  I look forward to learning this one,  yes if I got it this post would have been out more than a week ago.  At the same time thoughts matter, the creative process is important, and hopefully in this moment a little love and passion was shared.
Advertisements

One Response to “Reflections on the death of Steve Jobs”

  1. Brilliant! This is why we are friends…. that and the scotch…. and the cigars…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: