Steve Jobs was a remarkable man. His creative genius is legendary.
I can remember when someone mentioned the word “apple” they were speaking of a fruit. Today, the first thought to enter our minds is a product made by the company branded Apple. The iPad, iPhone, iPod and multiple other products are cherished items for most of us all because of the genius of Steve Jobs.
His ability to lead in the creation of products that were friendly to those who are technologically challenged was unprecedented. His creations made the computer come alive before our very eyes. Interactive and appealing to the eye, Jobs set before us the ability to bring entertainment up close and personal.
Admittedly, when someone of this stature dies, it is a great loss to mankind as a whole. He made our lives easier and better in so many ways. But when they announced his death, my first thought was not about the loss of creative genius to our world—I immediately wondered if he knew our God through His Son, Jesus.
Recently, while driving from an appointment, I heard an interview with a close friend of Jobs describing his thoughts about God and eternity. Jobs did think about eternal things. He was not an atheist. While I do not know how he would have described himself, the interview led me to believe he was an agnostic. The person described him struggling with the thought of God. He said that Jobs sometimes thought there was a god, but could never come to a clear opinion. As his cancer progressed, Jobs stated he wanted to believe in God because he wanted to believe in an afterlife. In the end, he concluded that life was probably like a switch that is thrown on and off.
As I listened, I confess my heart sank as I considered the eternal end of this brilliant man who had made so many people’s lives better. It is so sad to think in his darkest hour he had no faith to draw upon and no God to comfort him.
I contrast that with the dear saints of God who I have watched pass through the valley of death. They, like David, feared no evil. They did not fear the ultimate end of physical life. The reason was simple—the Lord, their Shepherd, Who walked with them through life, walked with them through the doors of death. These saints of God did not fear death, but embraced it; they were not resigned to death, but saw it as an open door to the best that was yet to be.
My heart aches for people without Jesus. The pangs of death and the outer darkness that follows is a shuddering end to life, no matter how purposeful or successful. The day comes when the last breath is drawn and after that the judgment, whether rich or poor, famous or unknown.
I wish Steve Jobs had discovered the wonder of a life lived with and for Jesus so he would know an eternity with Jesus. My wish is the same for all.
Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.