It was 10 years last month that Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer, died at the age of 56. Steve Jobs may go down in history as our generation’s Thomas Edison, because of all the technological advances that changed the way we live.
Back in 2005, Steve Jobs was giving the commencement address to the graduating class at Stanford University. He began by saying, “I’m going to tell you three stories each with a theme.” The first theme is “Connecting the Dots.” The story was how he had been born to an unwed mother who never graduated from high school. And yet, before she would sign the release for his adoption, the adopting parents had to promise to give this baby a college education. So, his working class parents struggled, scrimped, and saved to send Steve Jobs to Reed College in Portland, Oregon. But at the age of eighteen, Steve didn’t know what he wanted to do, and he felt like he was squandering his parents’ life savings. He dropped out of college, but hung around and audited classes, which at the time he thought were a waste of time, -- like Calligraphy. It was only later when he was designing the Macintosh Computer that he used his knowledge of calligraphy to create the font types that we all use in both Microsoft Windows and on Macs. Imagine, every time you sit down at a computer, you are benefiting from the interrupted life of Steve Jobs. He said, “Only by looking back someday will you be able to connect the dots and see that it all makes sense.”
Story number two he called “Love and Loss.” Apple went from a business run out of a garage to a two billion dollar company with 4,000 employees in 10 years. Then at the age 30, Steve Jobs got fired from the very company he started. He said, “I messed up. I failed. I was rejected, but still in love with computers, -- so I got to become a beginner again.” He said, “What kept me going after failing was just loving what I was doing.” He told those graduating seniors, “Don’t settle. Keep looking for as long as it takes until you find the one thing you love to do.”
And next came story number three. Steve Jobs looked at those bright young graduates and said, “Oh and by the way, you’re going to die. You’ll all be dead soon. Life goes by in the snap of a finger.” He said, “In fact if you live your life everyday as if it’s going to be your last, someday you will be right.” Steve Jobs told how the previous year he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and for a few weeks thought he only had a short time to live. When he went for a biopsy, he reported that the doctor leaped for joy as he discovered it was the one form of pancreatic cancer that is curable. But Steve Jobs said, “Your life will end someday, so don’t waste it by living someone else’s. What have you got to lose?”
He closed his commencement address by talking about a 1960’s publication called “The Whole Earth Catalog,” by Stewart Brand that was very meaningful to him. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road. The caption underneath the picture had the words, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” In other words, Be bold. Dare greatly. Live your dreams, because all that we are, and all that we have belongs to God. We have only a small window of time in this life in which to use it. And so, Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
This Sunday, November 14, we will be looking at a parable of Jesus from Matthew 25 of three servants, and the different approaches they took in life with the talents that were given them. Please join us in the sanctuary at 8:00 am. At 10:30 am, we will also be in the sanctuary, while broadcasting on Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube.