An Apple a day

07/10/11 | Posted by Ian Black

News of Apple's founder Steve Job’s untimely death brings sadness on several levels. It is humanly sad that someone should succumb to cancer at the age of 56. That is too young. His death has also taken away an incredible creative genius, one which has revolutionized the lives of us gadget fans. Phones with touch sensitive screens, more computing power in the palm of my hand than I could have imagined just a few years ago, stylish and compact equipment that gives added pleasure to the task of writing this blog, the computer generated images behind films like Toy Story. His influence on our culture has been enormous.

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 Computer Keyboard

Addressing students at Stamford University in 2005 Steve Jobs said the following powerful words.

“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’s life’s change agent.  It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

What I find remarkable about those words is the great acceptance of death as the destination we all share.  So much of how we live seems to try to pretend that death is not inevitable and is some kind of abuse of our rights.  Facing mortality is an important part of knowing who we are.  It is also one of the building blocks of developing an adult faith, one that is grown up rather than infantile.  By his own admission it was facing his own death, that life is limited, that brought things into focus for Steve Jobs.

I am grateful to Steve Jobs for his technological brilliance and the flourish of his inventing.  But I am also grateful that the head of an international mega company should have the humility to know and face his own mortality.  In so doing he has helped us all realize that we exist for a purpose and that purpose is bigger than we are.

The spiritual quest is a journey into that bigger purpose, God, to be in union with God and know that we are loved by God.

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