Oh Wow

Oh Wow. Those were the last words of Steve Jobs said not once, but three times. It is reported that he said these words after having spent time gazing at his loved ones for the last time and then looking past them. What was he realizing in that moment? I am fascinated by those words.

Over the last couple weeks, I have read numerous articles and blogs recounting Jobs life and death. His death brought forth an unexpected outpouring of emotion from around the world. One graphic artist from Hong Kong created an image of the iconic Apple logo adapted with Job’s silouette that quickly became a worldwide symbol. People went to Apple stores just to pay respects and console one another. Makeshift memorials contained flowers, notes and apples with one bite out of each. The world grieved a man that they didn’t really know, but whose inventions had touched so many lives. His devices combined art and technology with an ease of use never before seen.

Like many others, I remember using an Apple computer as a kid in which we would play math games in elementary school. In high school Apple computers were used for the graphic arts classes I took. But that was pretty much the extent of my Apple devotion. Throughout the 90’s the PC was my computer of choice. They were more affordable, had more software and more widely used. Apple products were laughable or at least just for a small contingent of artsy type folks.

That changed with the i-products. The ipod changed the way in which we listened to music. With each generation and next big thing, Jobs brought an elegance to the mundane tasks that we do every day. Every year there would be a growing buzz and expectation of what was going to come next. Apple regularly wowed people with the kinds of devices and functions no one had ever seen before. People became so used to these big kinds of announcements from Apple that their own expectations were not kept in check. Anything less than an iphone that can call ET was going to be a disappointment.

I am appreciative for what Jobs contributed to make common tasks easier (and more fun). I am also one of those who wonders what Jobs would have introduced in the next 20 years. Now those things will never be known, at least not in full. However, the comments, articles, stories and quotes by Jobs have also brought about a sad realization. All of his ingenuity could not add a single day to his life.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 25:26)

This causes me to reflect on the fact that regardless of prestige, ingenuity or contributions, death comes to us all. Jesus makes all the difference as to whether death is victorious or if it is defeat. I don’t know what Steve Jobs was seeing in those last moments. My hope is that at some point before the end he put his hope in Jesus. But I do know this, “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 1:9) And it’s going to be awesome!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

Those that put their trust in him will be with him forever. He is preparing a place for them. Until then keep your eyes on him. May the reality of the “oh wow” of the Gospel affect your now.

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