Steve Jobs, Apple’s president, has again taken a leave of absence in his ongoing battle with cancer. This troubles us, and we wish him nothing but God's grace and blessing.
Interestingly, in another article, I came across this quote from him (2003) when he first discussed his cancer diagnosis. It has pathos, insight, and tragedy:
“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. Right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Steve Jobs
But I would certainly differ with Steve on several key points.
First, death is no "invention" of man at all, and, if it were, it is certainly a poor one at best (Who would want a patent on that?). No, death is a judgement of God imposed on man because of the wages of sin and disobedience to a Holy God. Death is NOT natural, it is an enemy and a great separator from God and man. Period.
Only One was born to die. And He, possessing Eternal Life, was able, in Resurrection, to grant us exodus and redemption out of death’s clutches (Rom. 4; Heb. 2). The enemy tried to destroy that “Temple,” and in three days it was Divinely reconstructed, to our everlasting anticipation and hope. As Jesus said, “Because I live, you also shall live” (John 14:19). Do I hear some Hallellujahs!
Also, Mr. Jobs warns against “being trapped by dogma.” Huh? I know he is probably referring to various "dogmas" of business models, but he uses too wide a swath. Dogma, especially the dogma of God, which is simply doctrine or teaching, does not “trap” us. The Doctrine of God is what saves us and frees us! Nor is it merely the “results of other people’s thinking,” it is the very heart and soul of God Himself (2 Tim. 3:14-17). It is God’s dogma, God’s doctrine, which gives us the heart and the way of God to eternal reconciliation with Him (and in HIS true way, not man’s emotional suppositions and rantings). Keep in mind two things: The devil also has “doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:1, beware of it), and sound (gk. Hugiaino, healthy) doctrine will be ravaged and disparaged at the end of the church age (2 Tim. 4). Hang on!
My heart goes out to Steve and his family in this time of great illness and distress. He's a master of technology for the common man; technology that works. We owe a debt of gratitude to him for his innovative work that has put us to work.
But Steve’s “dogma” on dogma is not God’s. In that realm he is out of his league. He, like us all, must come as a little child, admit his need and receive the Savior who died for his sins.
Please truly pray for Steve to find Christ as the One who died for His sin, and the One who died his death for him that he might live forever with the rest of us who are called "Believers."
As GOD'S "freeing" dogma truly proclaims:
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name," John 1:12 (NASB)
"And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:11-13 (NASB)