How can a Zen Buddhist Tech Genius challenge the faith of a Christian? Yes, Steve Jobs the legendary founder of Apple, who revolutionized the computer, music, and movie experience for billions of people. The same Steve Jobs who was a strict vegetarian known for extreme diets, intense focus, uncanny passion and an extreme eye for art. The same Jobs who wrangled with the possibility of their being a God, who meditated, in his earlier years did acid, and even pilgrimaged to India. The very same one who was not of the faith, presents a challenge to those of the faith. This is no slight to him, nor Zen Buddhism or Eastern spirituality, but sometimes the mirror that’s lifted up before us is the life of someone else, to reflect back and point out something that we need to pay attention too. In the life of Steve Jobs it’s faith in God.
Earlier this year I read the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson; intrigued by the man, and impressed with his life accomplishments I took up the hefty sized book and started to read. The book was extremely well written, it made me want to continue reading and when I got to the end, it had accomplished its goal of conveying the life and pulse of Steve Jobs. However I walked away, provoked like a young boy who had just been given the ultimate “triple dog dare”, or a woman who had just been told what she couldn’t do!
There were the two statements that did it:
“Job’s engagement with Eastern spirituality, and especially Zen Buddhism, was not just some passing fancy or youthful dabbling. He embraced it with his typical intensity and it became deeply ingrained in his personality” pg 35
“I began to realize that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis” Steve Jobs, pg 35
Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. Print
Behind the education, and training, his Eastern Spirituality was central to him. This was seen in his work ethic, intense focus and eye for design. What he was able to accomplish was amazing, his work ethic was beyond comparison. His ability to envision and think outside the box, was uncanny, and it appears his spirituality was an enormous thrust and source for his accomplishments.
Is there still a Christianity that makes men and women great? Is there a walk of faith that leads people to do great things? Yes, we can point to excellent pastors and teachers, but can we point to anyone who are excelling in greatness outside of the church’s four walls, because of their God given faith, and what God is in them? Is there still an expectancy of greatness and excellence for Christians? These questions sum up the challenge, and the provoked feeling.
We have the assurance from God Himself, the very creator of this world, not only of redemption, but of adoption and His personal backing and support. (Rom 8:31) All the things pertaining to life and godliness have been given to us (2 Pe 1:3), the word says that every promise of God is “yes and in Him amen”. We are promised wisdom from God when and for whatever we need (Jas 1:5). We have the Holy Spirit of God who is the promised comforter, whose been guaranteed to lead us into all truth. God guarantees us that He hears our prayers and promises to be the One who repays to all who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6) We’ve been given and promised so much.
“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” Luke 12:48
Everyone will have to seek God personally for the specific detailed steps to their path, but while specific callings vary, the promises of God, the very abundance of His blessings have been poured out upon all of His children. Jobs stated that he began to realize that “an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis”. I wonder if as God’s people we have realized that leaning on God’s understanding instead of ours is more significant (Prov 3:5). I believe there still exists a Christianity that makes people great, a faith that leads people to do extraordinary things, and a God that stands behind His word and who looks to perform it in the earth.
Filed in: Life Following Jesus