Steve Jobs – I wanted my kids to know me

As you know, Steve Jobs, leader of Apple Computer died last week after a prolonged battle with cancer. Jobs was an innovator who made computing technology accessible and even essential for millions.  It is safe to say that he revolutionized the way our culture communicates and listens to music. iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPad have literally changed the way people live, work and think. Steve Jobs was a legend. He was also a master communicator and presenter.  The public announcements of new Apple products were major media events.  Yet, despite all of this there was one area Jobs recognized where he was lacking. Steve Jobs was a private man, apparently even from his own children. Several media outlets, including USA Today, put it this way:

“I wanted my kids to know me,” Jobs was quoted as saying by Pulitzer Prize nominee Walter Isaacson, when he asked the Apple co-founder why he authorized a tell-all biography after living a private, almost ascetic life. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did,” Jobs told Isaacson in their final interview at Jobs’ home in Palo Alto, California.

Millions have benefited from Jobs’ creativity while his own children must wait for his biography to know about their dad.  In the world we live in we often benefit from the losses of others, even if we are unaware of this loss.  Given a personal one-on-one setting, which of us would have been comfortable telling Steve Jobs to forfeit his relationship with children so that we could have an iPhone? But because we didn’t know Steve Jobs, we didn’t have that choice.

How many of the benefits of modern life that we enjoy have come about at the price of broken marriages and families? Much of the music that enriches our lives has come from the pen of troubled artists. Movie stars capture our affections on the screen, but their personal lives are a sad testimony to the worship of self and other created things.

Steve Jobs thought he needed to have someone else tell the story of his life to his children. Is my iPhone worth that? No, it is not. But as I said, it wasn’t my choice to make. I would not have known what my iPhone truly cost apart from reading about it. But, we can know are the choices God wants us to make. Our children should not have to read a book to know who we are. Our marriages should not have to suffer or fail because we think something else is more important.

No, I can’t give my iPhone back so that Steve Jobs’ children could know their dad. Neither can you.  But what we can do is stop taking things for granted and make the most of the opportunities God gives to us. We can take the time to talk to our wives, our husbands, and our children. We can be faithful to tell others the life changing news about Jesus Christ. There is a certain sad irony that we will often recommend a new tech product, like an iPhone, to someone we barely know, but are hesitant to talk about the One who can truly change lives for the better. Perhaps by telling others about the wonder of Christ some children may actually get to know their dad.

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