Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stringing Pearls: Learning From Another

Steve Jobs passed away--have you heard?  The words legacy, visionary, icon, greatest, most, once in a generation are free flowing as his life and work are remembered and honored. 

Andy Crouch of Christianity Today wrote an article capturing some unique reflections on this complex man here.   One of the observations of Crouch is that Jobs put, "the fruits of insanely complex engineering into accessible form."  That Jobs made this technology both, "safe and cool for ordinary people."  What is interesting is Crouch calls this Jobs' gospel. That Jobs was a messenger of good news and hope on a secular platform. 

I don’t know if Steve Jobs’ believed in Christ.  In his famous Stanford graduation address Jobs said:  “in connecting dots you have to trust in something:  your gut, destiny, life, Karma, whatever…but follow you heart.”  Not the typical expression of a Christian,  but Jobs life and work bless us and move us in positive way. 

Can Christians --the church learn from Jobs' brilliance?  Can we take the real good news and real hope and put it on a platform that is accessible and exciting and relevant?  Are the ways I express faith "safe and cool for ordinary people"? 

I think some of the hallmarks of Jobs' life and work leave much for us to learn. He still is an effective teacher.

My takeaway.  Launching from what is now said about Jobs/Apple, I challenge myself to learn from Jobs/Apple and engage life and work,  people and programs with four dimensions:
  • Creativity: Are the thoughts words and deeds inspiring, interesting? Too often the message of faith is over simplified, insipid platitudes (see prosperity teaching) or burdened hyper intellectual pretense that moves to hostile debate (see reaction to Rob Bell). Neither tone reflects the creative connection Christ, Paul or even Deuteronomy—yes Deuteronomy—to know and grow as a Christ follower.
  • Simplicity: Is my work and words following the straight path of my faith? We are broken. We need healing. There is hope to move from one to the other through Christ.
  • Relevance: We should ask ourselves, what difference does this truth make in my relationships, my circumstances, my work, my dreams and ambitions? It should move us in obvious, everyday ways. The inspired should infect the ordinary.
  • Honesty: It is true? Faith is not an abstract set of ideas, it’s not philosophy. It’s God moving into the human heart to receive grace and release grace.
I give thanks for Steve Jobs life. 

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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?