When it was announced that Steve Jobs passed away from pancreatic cancer, I was stunned. I first started using computers in elementary school -- Apple computers. All students were required to learn how to code in commands to a little pixilated green turtle. We made it move on the screen, caused it to draw lines and had some fun making patterns. It was good, simple fun, and we learned how to enter the digital age when it was in its infancy.
I'm still using Apple products today -- from my phone to the MacBook Pro I design and write on.
Many, like myself, were captivated by the story of Steve and a friend working on their first computer in a garage. Through lots of perseverance (including being let go as CEO from Apple at one point -- though he used that opportunity to invest in a then little-known animation studio called Pixar), Steve brought about products that changed how we create and interact with music, visual media, the arts and each other.
Since Steve's passing, the iPhone 4S has gone on to sell 4 million units, doubling a previous record Apple made with the previous iPhone 4 model. The company is now one of the most valuable public company in the world -- up there with Exxon Mobil.
It is a bit ironic that the pinnacle of Steve's career as an engineer, as a communicator and as a CEO, came at the very end of his life. I imagine that, as a perfectionist, he liked it this way.
Most people will not remember him in frailty. What they will remember is his strength -- standing on stage in an iconic black turtleneck, wearing blue jeans and New Balance sneakers with the simple Apple logo behind him on a large screen.
His passing points to humanity's ability to imitate the one who created us. God made the elements of the universe and combined them with spirit to make living creatures. Intelligence was given to the first people, and it is recorded in Genesis, that we were given the commission to spread out, rule over creation and to work to cultivate the wild so that we could live well. We started to tame the thorns and weeds, we built buildings and we tamed the animals. We thought through human expansion by building roads, debating forms of government and laying down communication cords across the ocean.
As we enter an era in which our identities become wrapped in the digital world -- as we remember Steve and his legacy of bringing the digital media age to so many people's hands -- let us also take some time to remember who created the elements in the electric chips, who placed order in the universe so we could learn laws and master them to further humanity's growth and lastly. Let's remember the one who breathed life into an ambitious child named Steve.
Praise be to God for every new possibility, with every new life, even as we revere the lights who went before.
Daniel Griswold is the director of youth at St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church. Read his blog at www.danielgriswold.wordpress.com. Follow him on Twitter @dannonhill.