Religion Today: What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world…
Guest Writer Spotlight: What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world… – By Richard Lewis
When my wife and I were in New York City a few years ago we visited the main Apple store location. The clear glass street level entrance to the store includes a beautiful glass staircase.
The day we stopped in the store was crowded with people lined up to buy the newest version of the Apple Watch for $350-$400 each. Creating a brand where each new product has people pre-ordering unseen products is a manufacturer’s dream. Seeing people from all over the world, in a shark-like feeding frenzy, standing in lines to buy the newest Apple products, was just crazy. Of course, the Apple brand is closely identified with The Man himself – Steve Jobs.
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Author Walter Isaacson interviewed Jobs more than 40 times and was one of the last people to visit Jobs before his passing. Isaacson’s best-selling biography of Jobs offers insights into what the author has called “good Steve” and “bad Steve”.
Isaacson writes, “Good Steve was brilliant, charismatic, a champion for excellence, an alchemist who turned a moribund computer company into gold. Bad Steve was petulant, rude, spiteful, and controlling, a man who thought nothing of publicly humiliating employees, hogging the credit for work he hadn’t done, throwing tantrums when he didn’t get his way, or parking his Mercedes in handicapped spots. For several years, he even denied the paternity of his daughter so that the child and her mother had to live on welfare.”
Jobs attended church as a youth but at age 13 decided he didn’t want to have anything to do with worshiping a God who would allow suffering in the world and he never went back to church. Later in life he began to follow the tenants of Buddhism which does not teach the existence of a supreme being.
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the Isaacson interviews was when Jobs opened up about his thoughts on an afterlife.
Isaacson recalls, “I remember sitting in his backyard garden one day, and Steve started talking about God.” He said, “Sometimes I don’t (believe). It’s 50-50. But ever since I’ve had cancer I’ve been thinking about it more, and I find myself believing a bit more. Maybe that’s because I want to believe in an afterlife, that when you die it doesn’t just all disappear. The wisdom you’ve accumulated, somehow it just lives on.” But then he paused for a second and he said, “Yeah, but sometimes I think it’s like an on-off switch. Click, and you’re gone.” He paused again and said, “And that’s why I don’t put on-off switches on Apple devices.”
What an interesting perspective – Jobs’ reason for not having prominent on-off switches on his products was, in part, because of his beliefs about the finality of death.
In 2008, while Jobs was still alive, the Bloomberg financial newswire decided to update its Steve Jobs obituary files. These files are a common practice for significant public figures. The updated version, with the date and the cause of death left blank, was inadvertently published during the update process. It was immediately removed but the obituary basically foretold Job’s death that would occur some 3 years later in 2011.
Sadly, Steve Jobs gained the whole world only to be struck down by cancer. The first time he beat it but the second time he did not.
It is said there are no atheists in foxholes and even Jobs began to rethink spiritual things as the end of his life approached.
For each of us there is a course we follow that takes us from the cradle to the grave. In those days in the middle some may become very wealthy and others may be wondering when they will eat their next meal.
All our good works will be gone – poof.
In the end, our prestige or our poverty will all be gone. A rich man died and some people discussing his estate wondered just how much he had left behind. A wise man interrupted them and answered, “He left it all!”
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Someday, we will each stand transparent before God. What we have done with God’s Son will be the only matter at hand. Hebrews 9:27-28a says, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many…”
Jesus cautioned us, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”(Matthew 16:26)
Richard Lewis is a graduate of Arizona State University (Advertising) and California Baptist University (Computer Information Systems). Richard and his wife Sue met while they served as staff members at Campus Crusade for Christ for 8 years in the 1970’s. Richard served in the Campus Ministry at University of Texas at El Paso, Louisiana Tech and at the International Headquarters in San Bernardino, California.
Following their ministry in Campus Crusade Richard was the owner and manager of a bicycle shop in Riverside California for 19 years. After retraining in the computer field at California Baptist University, Richard worked as a Information Systems contractor and employee at Boeing for 17 years. Richard has written over 150 published articles in Information Systems and Computing publications including Windows Magazine and Windows Scripting Solutions. Richard has served in a leadership role as a Deacon and Elder in several churches as well as being a meditation presenter and Men’s Ministry coordinator.
Richard has written hundreds of meditations and devotionals that have been used in church and small group meetings. Many of these have been published in The Upper Room and Racers For Christ publications and on their web sites.
In 2021 Richard published a collection of his devotionals. These are available in a Kindle and paperback format on Amazon (ISBN 979-8705738878) “Life Stories to Uplift and Encourage”.
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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.