I’ve been reading quite a bit about the untimely death of Steve Jobs, the founder and creative genius behind the Apple empire. When someone as powerful and famous as that passes away, it seems that everyone has something to say about it.
There are many thoughtful eulogies that highlight his incredible life of success; stories that give in-depth analyses of how his passing may or may not affect the bottom line of Apple; commentaries by health gurus that second guess the treatment he received for his illness; and of course, numerous conspiracy theories that are intent on “exposing” the truth surrounding his illness and death (or faked death).
As interesting as many of those stories may be, the real story that needs to be told is the story of how a single soul recently stood before God and gave a final accounting of his life; the story of how no amount of wealth and power could stop that inevitable journey that we will all make someday.
Don’t get me wrong, Steve Jobs did indeed have a profound impact on our society, and many of those other stories are certainly worth telling. And to be clear, this is not intended to be a bash-the-rich commentary, nor am I making any judgments or assumptions about the final state of his soul…but when someone like Steve Jobs passes away I can’t help but ponder the fleeting nature of this life.
Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. Psalm 144:4
Our lives rush by quickly, and regardless of the level of our material achievements during that time, death washes it all away and becomes the great equalizer. Beyond the grave, there are no wealthy people, no celebrities, no social elite, and no CEOs. All the accolades that are now being sung about Steve Jobs’ life, his amazing technological legacy, and the vast fortune that he accumulated are of no benefit to him now.
In our society, we have a tendency to judge people based on their accomplishments and material success. God, on the other hand, judges all of us equally according to his perfect standards, and we all equally fail to meet those standards. It is only by trusting in Christ that we are made acceptable in God’s eyes.
For all of Steve’s earthly wealth and power, he was judged in the same manner and by the same standards as the poorest of those that may have died on the same day.
Yes, all of those stories about his life’s accomplishments are well and fine, but let’s not forget that he had a soul, a soul whose eternal fate, good or bad, was just recently sealed.
This should be a source of serious contemplation for all of us. His death should be a sober reminder of how quickly this life goes by. It should also remind us that we need to store up our treasures in heaven, not on earth, and that ultimately the only thing that truly matters is our relationship with God.
I appreciate many of the incredible things that Steve Jobs accomplished in his life, but it’s all meaningless if “he gains the world, but loses his soul,” Matthew 16:26.
I can only hope that he did indeed put his faith in Christ and not in his wealth, and that he is now basking in the glory of heaven.
Rest in peace Steve.