Recently, I found myself mourning the loss of Steve Jobs, as millions of other people were. Unquestionably, he is one of the greatest influential business leaders of all time. He’s in a class with such influential leaders as Henry Ford (automobile), J. Paul Getty (oil), Cyrus Vanderbilt (railroads), J. P. Morgan (Steel), and others who didn’t invent their industry, but found a way to make it work directly for individual people in a way never before seen.  He has an indelible place in history and, for the current generations, in our minds.

Probably the best tribute I experienced was something Tom Brokaw said on NBC’s Today show the day after Steve’s death. Tom talked about how he was a big fan of jukeboxes as he was growing up, and how the iPod had brought the jukebox back to him. What Steve Jobs’ had led Apple to do affected Tom Brokaw personally. I loved the smile on Tom Brokaw’s face as he told that story: it was genuine and heart-felt.

I have also been seeing the expected cartoons about Steve Jobs encountering St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, and God himself, and offering to show them how they can improve things there.  While reading the tributes and quotes to Steve Jobs, something struck me in the oft-quoted extract of Steve’s 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.

“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.”

Knowing Steve Job’s beliefs in Buddhism, and to some extent the occult, my heart sank even lower when I read this.  It was clear that, barring any last minute radical change in Steve Job’s beliefs, he had likely become a victim of a warning given by Jesus himself in the book of Mark.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul.”

Here’s the reason my heart is  heavy.  The world will remember Steve Jobs in a big way, and so will I.  When I compare the parables in the New Testament about the servants and the talents, Steve Jobs was a 10-talent investment who gave back at least 10 talents more.  To this, the master would say “well done, thou faithful servant.”  Steve Jobs was entrusted with a lot of skills, talents and resources, and he maximized them all. While the world marvels at Steve Jobs, I am sure God himself was pleased to see His own creation serve others through business and charity, and prosper so well–making a great life out of what he was given.  He loved Steve Jobs as much as any other person on this planet.

It is just sad to think that someone so talented, who had accomplished so much, would possibly end his life on Earth only to have a fate of being separated from God eternally: a fate that even God himself has stated he does not wish on anyone.  But that is the way it works.  Only the saving grace of Jesus Christ can bridge the gap between God in heaven and ourselves. All personal and professional success, and regret about our mistakes and transgressions,  have no impact on that gap–only Jesus can eliminate the sin that separates us from God, before we draw our last breath and that separation must become eternal.

I truly hope Steve Jobs changed his beliefs in the last hours or days of his life, and was able to accept Jesus’ personal offer of forgiveness and salvation.  But if not… it would be far from the first or last time it has happened.  And, it would be another reminder of our personal priorities: something God puts in front of us from time to time in our lives.

“Seek first the Kingdom of the Lord, and all these things shall be added unto you.” says the Lord.  Everything else is secondary.