Welcomes and Goodbyes

Today, Kari and I welcomed Emmaline Grace Maddox into our lives. She weighed in at just over 8 pounds and nearly 20 inches in length. The process of her birth was largely uneventful aside from some bruising. Considering the miracle of birth, we can’t ask for more.

It is always thrilling to welcome a new child, and even more so to meet your child. Every kid has a vastly different personality in spite of their genetic similarities. We waited months for this day and have been amply rewarded with a beautiful baby girl.

Goodbyes are of a different sort. We don’t welcome them–we endure them. Today, we all said goodbye to a man whose influence is undeniable. From CGI to UI, Steve Jobs impacted our world. His innovative presence will be missed.

Several years ago, Steve gave a oft-quoted speech at Stanford University:

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. [Link]

Today, Steve lived his axiom. Someone else now has the chance to create. His speech was brilliant for students embarking upon a future filled with great things. His speech is hollow for people who say goodbye.

We all face goodbyes, either with those we love or with the realization of our own fragility. Our hope then is either in what we have done, as Steve says, or what someone else has done. Steve was mostly right: no one has ever escaped [death]. But he’s wrong because One escaped death. This One made goodbyes bearable because of the hope that there’s more to life than death.

Tonight, we said goodbye to Steve. More importantly, I said hello to Emmaline. I want the best for her; like Steve, I want her to avoid false thinking that hinders. I want her to do great things and change the world. Most importantly, I want her to know the One who makes goodbyes bearable. I want her to know the hope of life in spite of death.

Goodbyes are inevitable. Hope is either central or peripheral. Let our hope be central–not in the things we create but the One who created all.

Welcome to the world, Emmaline, you have much to look forward to.

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