Maybe not the best order as I put Steve first and definitely not to be misunderstood as my first affection…
Maybe better to see it as the one I want to address first and was with us physically the most recently.
Although it can be that the things we think can be learned from Steve Jobs are “wishful” skills we gladly add to him, the legacy he left us is still great and beyond virtual reality! I have been reading his biography by Walter Isaacson two time now as the first was a more scanning/reading, lately I tried it from a more detailed attempt. I am not going try to explain, analyse or even comment him as for me the only one thing stood out: a focussed man, determined to complete the job. Apple was not “his thing”, since when he even was fired from his baby, it showed that it was not about Apple! He declared, in a time of IBM and stupid terminal environments: One person, one computer! The freedom that he was pursuing was fuelled by a passion to use technology for the better of the individual.
As his surrounding was filled with distraction, money makers, good ideas, for him there was only one assignment and no one could keep him from fulfilling that passion. Yes, it made him into a hard-to-work-with-guy, he fed the brains of the physicians and wise guys as they analysed him till nothing was left of him but… he gave us “the thing”!
Steve’s attitude, not always appreciated by the people around him, was: I am on a mission! I know what my assignment is and just don’t distract me!
Praised through all ages as the man with the best visionary strategy and an example for many people, even secular business leaders, Nehemiah is the second person that inspires me daily and deeply!
The Book of Nehemiah can be seen, as it is by many, as a blueprint for restoration, from the passion, the vision to the approach! Being totally dedicated to his task, he saw that all the effort the priest Ezra was putting into the rebuilding of the temple did not make any sense until the safety of the city was guarantied by rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. He was compassionate by the need of a nation that was discouraged, tired, without any hope after working for years without a visible result. That’s where the man nehemiah came in as his apostolic heart was moved to the bones when they gave him the repport of the status of Jerusalem. Moved and determined from that moment on that the liberty, the freedom of the individual had to be guarantied by “surrounding them” with safety! The way he connected with the need, even made him to be “guilty” of it, knowing that there was lack of the quality that he has forsaken for so many years, just “serving the king”! Taking advantage of his position, firstly he restored his identity before being able to restore the identity of his people!
I can write so much on this but I really recommend you to read the book and find the beauty of it’s lessons for today. For me now it stand out that what connect him to Steve was his passion to accomplish that one thing that lacked! The attempts to distract him by the “Dalton Brothers”, Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab, were at the end almost violent and at least very offending, accusing (Are you rebelling against the king?), trying to “work together” and even “praying together”!
Nehemiah’s attitude, not always appreciated by the people around him, was: I am on a mission! I know what my assignment is and just don’t distract me!
Only a few lines because there is no way these guys above can stand before Him because of the accomplishments, not even can we compare any of their effort to the thing He did and accomplish on behalf of our individual and with it corporate Freedom. He was in no way part of the society and therefor did not deserve “the blame and the shame” for what we did. As they wanted to make Him king, he refused every attempt to be elevated in “glory”, for the sake of the glory we were going to have!
Jesus’ approach, not always appreciated by the people around him, was: I am on a mission! I know what my assignment is and just don’t distract me!
Steve, in many ways standing out above the crowd, lived and was very much fuelled by anger, bitterness and that’s what caused the sometimes pride attitude that he was carrying.
Nehemiah took his job very seriously because he knew that he was part of the problem and therefor needed to be physically involved.
Jesus was moved by that fact alone that His father was grieved and saddened by the condition of His creation. His only reaction was: Father send me!
What can we learn from Steve Jobs and Nehemiah?
Bombarded by the “problems” in this world, the media is interfering our god-given assignment: making disciples of all nations. They know that we “cannot withdraw” from “the need in the world”! The system is ok with us “taking care” of the needy. The only thing they don’t want us to do is building the condition for a generational safety by the way God shows us in The Word! We are people from the offspring of Jesus, with the assignment to bring His Kingdom, His justice, His conditions to the Earth.
Like Steve, Nehemiah and Jesus we need to be focused to, what ever the people around us try to make of us, accomplish the god-given assignment through the restoration of our god-given identity.
And that approach, not always appreciated by the people around us, is: We are on a mission! We know what our assignment is and just don’t distract us!