Posts Tagged ‘steve-jobs’

Jesus gets a New Job

Posted: October 6, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Whenever an icon dies, a plethora of statements light up, like christmas lights buried in a dusting of snow.  I remember driving my ’79 Caprice Classic station wagon up Cornwall.  I had just passed Assumption on my right, and the First United Church of Christ on my left when the DJ on the radio announced that Kurt Cobain had died.  Well, he didn’t really die so much as he killed himself.  Small detail.

Anyway, yesterday Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died.  First the AP News alert buzzed in my pocket.  Then the little “Drudge Report” siren went of in my pocket, and I pulled my phone out to read the headline.  “Apple reports that Steve Jobs has died.”

I told my wife as I continued walking and she said “REALLY?!”  Like she didn’t believe me.  I don’t think it was the headline that surprised her nearly as much as the way I said it.  Like it wasn’t really a surprise- we all knew it was coming.  Sort of like when you get a wedding invitation in the mail.  Or a bill.  They are remarkable occasions- but not collapse-on-the-floor surprising.

I couldn’t help but wonder.  All the hype this week (at least in techno/gizmo world) was the annual confab in Cupertino.  All the pundits were speculating about what new wonder-of-the-world-to-be Apple would be unveiling.  Traditionally, this was one of Jobs niche areas.  The unveiling.  The pulling back of the curtain.  The old ipod in my pocket- OH NO WAIT!  It’s in my COIN-POCKET!  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!”

And the next day, Jobs is dead.  Just like that.

I’ve been 23 for a long, long time.  I’m not sure what’s so special about 23 for me.  When I first turned 23 I was a “recent college graduate.”  I had double majors- one in Philosophy, and the other in Theology.  I added that last one my senior year, around Christmas.  I was looking at my schedule and realized that I’d just about met the requirements for the degree without even being an inked member of the tribe.  So I went ahead and posse’d up.

In other words, I lived in a small apartment in a small town with a roommate and lived on a painter’s wages.  Single, limited prospects and slimming.

Yeah, no.  Not like Matisse or Picasso.  Like “Joe’s Housepainting.”  Or like “random-guy-in-a-spray-booth-with-mask-and-paintgun-in-average-American-factory” painter.

Since then, I’ve moved.  Bought several cars.  Bought two houses, gotten married, had 4 (seriously) kids, had a job, gave up a job, had a dream, given up a dream, changed a dream, stayed married, started homeschooling 1st of 4 (no, really) children, and my dad has died.  But in my head, sometimes, I still think I’m 23 with lots of life before me.  Plenty of time.  No real consequences.

Pipe smoke.  Not even a pipe dream.

Thing that I wonder at is that Steve Jobs was more handsome at 56 than he was at 36.  He was a more widely revered manager, innovator and designer than ever.  The older he got, the more iconic he became.  We’re not talking young, beautiful and reckless.  This isn’t rock-stardom.  It’s something bigger.  I don’t mean to be flippant, but maybe my kool-aide mustache is showing here.  His life had global impact.  His vision and persistence changed economies.  Not singular.  Plural.  And it was created.  He didn’t do it by killing, stealing, terrorizing or destroying.  He did it constructively.

And yet, yesterday, after all the hype, after all the people had gone home from the iFrenzy in Cupertino, Steve Jobs died.  And Apple goes on.  We go on.  The world still goes on.

The world will never be the same- not even close.  But spin it will.

We all face that dark corner in our rooms though, don’t we?  I remember looking at my newborn son’s hands.  I remember my dad telling me about how he used to hold my little hands, and wonder.  You have to think his dad might have done the same thing.  And that my sons will too.

And I will face that dark corner that we all must face.  I will lay down in my bed, sit down in my chair (I’m being optimistic here), and my brain will skip a note.  The God made union of spirit and clay will be broken, again, finally, for the last time until He mysteriously joins them in a new way.  A new indestructible way.

Here’s another thing though.  When this happens, when an entire generation turns a corner together in it’s corporate passing of time- at moments like those I gain even greater faith in my past.  Seems weird, I suppose.  But as Steve Jobs dies, and his life merges with rest of eternity, I realize, again, that just as his did, lives passed before that, and again before that.  Does reality now have any more validity than the realities of those previous to mine?  No.  Just as my reality is a reliable one, all of those that came before me are also reliable.  And it can then go back, back, back.

The men who left their families, their wives, their businesses, because Jesus persuaded them with a look- those men are no less real than I am.  Than we are.

Their lives are no less real.  And when those men faced their deaths, those were no less real either.  Only one of the 12 apostles that Jesus called had “peaceful” deaths.  One.  All eleven of those men faced something violent- something that challenged their conviction.  All of them had opportunities to trade their convictions in for something less painful.  Less horrid.  And yet they stayed.  They had seen something unbelievable, something that even seeing could not persuade for some.

The letters and books that make up what we call the bible have an aura of mystery about them.  When we talk about them being inspired by God they gain a mysticism, an elevation.  And they acquire the ability to be disbelieved.  To be considered unreliable.


They are all handwritten.  Yes, of course, our copies are typed copies, bought and sold.  Commodities.  But somebody set their hand to the purpose of writing them out.  And with that, the time.  This stuff was important.

Do you think the world will go on?  I mean really?  Like, can you imagine the world in a 100 years?  How about 500?  How about 2,000 years?  Honestly, with all the dire predictions, asteroids, economic collapse, world war, ethnic cleansing, Skynet and this Robo-dog, I struggle to imagine the world outliving me.  Can John Conner do it?

Did you know that the 4 Gospels in the Bible- the four narrative accounts of Jesus’ ministry, were about the last books actually written?

Does that make them less reliable?

The letters Paul, James, Peter wrote, the books that make up the rest of the New Testament, were written first.

Why?  Maybe because they didn’t expect the world to last long enough to need a written account.  Maybe it wasn’t until people started to think, started to notice they were actually dying!  We should write this crap down!  Somebody might need to know this stuff after… after I’m gone!

Our lives matter.  What we do draws the lines for the next generation to fill in.  No lines?  No fill.  No fill?  No drawing.  Period.

But that doesn’t mean that we are the end of time.  Time’s culmination.  Fascinating.

New International Version (©1984)

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

New Living Translation (©2007)
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

English Standard Version (©2001)
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.