I’m on my way home today after an amazing 8-day swing through St. Louis, Kansas City, and Wichita. I’ve met hundreds of new people and had long, lovely conversations with people I have crossed paths with before. It has all been wonderful, even our last three days hanging out in a barn with a wide-ranging group of people in all stages of this amazing journey. I am always amazed at the conversations that people on a real spiritual journey share with each other.
I got to the airport early and have free-wifi at Wichita. (Thank you, Wichita. No one should charge $8.00 for a one-hour connection. Highway robbery!) Anyway, I’ve been reflecting on Steve Jobs recently. The founder of Apple and its high-profile CEO died on Wednesday. I have been a dedicated user of Apple products through my entire computing life. I have savored how his innovations made my writing so much easier. And I have watched him give speeches of new products to see if they were going to be of further help to me. I felt a sadness in my own heart when I heard of his passing.
If you haven’t already heard his 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford University, you might enjoy giving it a listen. I have no idea what kind of faith journey he was on, but so much of what he said that day resonates deeply with me. Even on that date he knew he had pancreatic cancer and it was probably going to shorten his lifespan significantly. He died this week at 56.
During his Standford commencement speech he talked about dropping out of college, of being cheated out of Apple by some of his best friends and how it came back to him later. He had some marvelous things to say about overcoming even the unfaithfulness of others to flourish in that which your heart draws you toward. When I read this, I don’t so much think of my heart and what I want, but I did think of the dreams God has planted there and how easily we let ourselves be talked out of his purpose in us by those who think in the box of human intellect.
I posted part of this speech previously in a blog a long, long time ago. I wanted to post some of it again today. Here’s how that speech ended:
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life.”
“It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.“
You can read or hear the entire speech here. Good stuff!