Sunday, October 9, 2011
Gaining Wisdom from Steve Jobs
This week an American and world icon has passed from this life to the next. Some may argue that Steve Jobs was not so great, others have set him up to be god-like. Wherever you fall in this spectrum, or anywhere in between, there is good wisdom gained in numbering our days to gain a heart of wisdom.
There are those who believe deeply about whether or not there is a life after this one; some say that when you're gone- you just go into the ground and you're done, "When you're done, you're done". Others say you go to Heaven or Hell. Some say if you're heroic in your dying you get "extra credit" or pleasure when you get to wherever they think they are going.
Again, all told, whatever you believe or don't believe it is prudent to think through what you are believing and make adjustments to your life accordingly.
Steve Jobs was worth something like $6 Billion dollars. A reminder; that is 6 thousand million dollars. Ok, so the value of the dollar is not what it used to be- that's still probably more value than some countries. The company he was in charge of had more cash this summer than the Federal Reserve and was more valuable than Exxon Mobile- the most valuable brand in the world, for a time this year. He was not thinking about if he could afford to fill up his tank, or budgeting for a weekend get away. He was rich- at least as far as this world is concerned.
So, he passed on Wednesday and I believe that he has some answering to do; we all need to do a little soul searching. Here is a man who, from a worldly perspective, "gained the whole world". There are not many who gained more than he; but what did he really gain? On Thursday "morning" for him, what had he gained? If a man gains the entire world- everything on earth was his- when he leaves this life what does he leave? Everything. Are his wife and kids financially set? Sure, but what good does it do them to gain the entire world when one day they too will leave all?
There is an old saying, "Only one life, will soon be passed. Only what's done for Christ shall last". We might have the privilege and responsibility to have gained the "entire" world, but our soul will still be required of us. "What shall it profit a man--if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26
Suppose a man does gain the whole world--
Does it keep him from trouble?
Does it give his conscience peace?
Does it comfort him in sorrow?
Does it "cushion his falling" for him when he is dying?
Does it purchase Heaven for him when he is gone?
If we went to a party that had Monopoly money and we were given $1000 when we walked through the door and were told, "Get everything you can" and so we did; how foolish would we look if we were strutting around at the end of the night thinking we were big shot, high-rollers knowing we had to give it all back when we left the party door? This illustration is intended to make us think about the futility of getting "everything" here on earth. If we could gain even all the world--at the price of our own soul, would that really be a great trade?
How many people actually go through this life and trade their soul for so much less than "the entire world"?
Some sell their soul for a few hours of guilty pleasure!
Some sell their soul for political power!
Some sell their soul for ill gotten gain!
Some sell their soul for their 15 minutes of fame.
They are selling their souls in many other ways--all for "monopoly money".
What does a man give in exchange for his soul?
There in lies the trouble. When the soul is lost--there is no way of recovering it. When we have made our choice, and lived our life, whether right or wrong--there is no possibility of changing the results! There are no "do over's" and there are no "re-set" buttons. We only go around once; if we live wrongly, there is no chance to live it over again.
There is truth in the saying, "Once your done, you're done" but not the way most people who use that saying mean it. Once we're done in this life- our souls WILL be required of us and if we choose to trade it for earthly pleasure then it is irretrievably lost.