Its been a little over 24 hours since the world found out about the death of Steve Jobs. I admit it, I was deeply touched when I heard the word myself. I posted this picture as my Facebook profile picture, I just felt it was the right thing to do.
In the past 24 hours there have been a bajillion bits that have flowed out onto the internet paying respects, offering homage and expressing the grief of millions of people. And this is as it should be. He did indeed make a dent in the universe, and those of us who use technology owe him a great debt of gratitude. My world would not be the same without what Steve helped bring into being. I am writing this on my iPad, if I didn’t write it here, it would have been on my iMac, and then there is my iPod and tomorrow the day will come when I will at long long last finally order my iPhone the 4s. My office computer is Windows machine, but that too, would not be what it is without the influence of one Mr. Steve Jobs.
Now that I too have added my bit to the bajillion bits out there, I have another thought or two having read a whole slug of Facebook posts, blogs, and tweets.
Yes, Steve, was a visionary, showman, entrepreneur and so much more. Isn’t it a little funny how so many people who never met the man, have no compunction about referring to him simply as Steve. Maybe it is because the products he helped produce, from Pixar movies to all the stuff from Apple have so nicely wedged themselves into our day to day existence that we feel we truly knew the man. In someways, I think that is exactly true and in someways we did know at least some part of who Steve was.
In these last 24 hours Steve quotes galore have found their way into the warp and weft of peoples expressions of grief. Maybe that is good, it seems to be natural and a healthily way of dealing with loss. But as the hours have ticked by I have noticed more and more folks taking Steve quotes out for walks they were never meant to go on. Church people, nonprofit guru’s, business leaders, and others have all held up Steve’s example and in so many words have said… if only we too would follow Steve’s lead, we too could make our dents in the universe.
Maybe that is true, but would it be good? I don’t know.
For all Steve’s accomplishments, there was a price to be paid. Working at Apple is not the employment equivalent of Nirvana. Steve set a high bar, and there are many who have dashed themselves upon the rocks of high expectations and innovation at Apple. Would we as a church do well to follow Steve’s example, for the sake of the Gospel? I am pretty sure Jesus and Steve have differing outcomes when it comes to how you measure success. Would a ruthless drive to eradicate hunger following Steve’s methods do more damage that it would good? I think it would.
To learn from Steve’s example I think is a good idea, I just want us see the whole picture even as we give thanks for his life, his work and his impact.
People are not electronics, humans are more than the sum of their parts and in the end even Steve was just a dude.