Steve Jobs on death and dying

Steve Jobs’ health has been in the news once again this week.  I wish him well in his battle with this latest health issue.  He is a remarkable man.

Andy Crouch has been reflecting on Steve Jobs as a secular evangelist of hope during a decade where there have been many signs of hopelessness.  In his article, he includes some of Steve Jobs’ own thoughts on death and his advice on how to live in the face of mortality.

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.

There are things worth reflecting on in what he says.  But Andy Crouch points out the limitations of his message.  Its promises are self-contained and say nothing about hope that comes from outside ourselves.

Crouch comments:

Steve Jobs’s gospel is, in the end, a set of beautifully polished empty promises. But I look on my secular neighbors, millions of them, like sheep without a shepherd, who no longer believe in anything they cannot see, and I cannot help feeling compassion for them, and something like fear. When, not if, Steve Jobs departs the stage, will there be anyone left who can convince them to hope?

You can read the whole article here.

And, meantime, here is an articulation of Christian hope.


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