Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

While waiting to get my haircut today, i picked up the September issue of Fortune magazine and read the transcript from Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford University this past June. He said several things that I've been chewing on for the past couple of hours.

Here's both the audio and the text transcript for you to check out. You should be able to click both links to follow along in separate windows:

Text Transcript
Audio File

His commencement speech was more like his testimony talking about his adoption, being a college drop out, starting Apple computers, getting fired then starting Pixar, and getting cancer. Here's one thing that caught my attention:

"Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever--because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference."

I feel this way. I feel like I'm following my heart, being led by the Spirit, off the well-worn path. I feel like i'm out in no-man's land where others say i'm not supposed to be, yet, I know that i'm supposed to be here and i know that it's okay. Christendom may not understand but i'm not lost out here - I followed Jesus to the gay people. I may not know exactly what this will look like in terms of the Kingdom - or if my being around will even make a difference - but Christopher over at Bending the Rule said something that i've taken to heart.

He said, "... I trust my presence and that of others is more likely to change minds than all of the theological, biblical, intellectual, emotional arguments ever will."

I have to trust and believe and have faith that while, right now, i don't know every argument there is about the issue of homosexuality, God will connect the dots later down the line so that in the future I can look back and see that there was value in "confronting/embracing" my sexuality in relation to my faith head on, and that there was value in the relationships that I established, and that in the end I learned from others and they learned from me and we all turned towards Christ and not away from Him.

Another thing that Steve Jobs said that struck me was:

"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, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."

Along with my own inner voice, heart and intuition, i'll also include the Spirit. These statements resonated with me because it was a fresh affirmation to me that leaving my religion behind didn't mean that I was leaving my Christ. Rather, in following Him, i further become the man He created me to be - even if it is being gay and His.

A good friend of mine (straight and married) who is also my public ministry partner told me a week and a half ago that the people around me that love me but don't know that i'm gay really don't know the real Eric. They know the part of me that I allowed them to see - the carefully constructed me - but it's not the real me. They deserve the opportunity to love or reject the real me - the one who loves Jesus and is also attracted to men. Their opinion of me may not determine the man I am, but at least I can live my life as the man I am....(whoever that is).

Steve Jobs concluded his speech with "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

At first, I had to take a minute to figure out what he meant. But in context to his story and in relation to mine, i think i get it. Being hungry gets me off my glutteous maximus to go out and do something. Hungry for the Word. Hungry for relationships. Hungry for Him. Being foolish means remembering that I will always have much to learn. I will never fully understand the mysteries and purposes of God for my life, His Church, or this world. I am a fool (in many ways!). But recognizing this brings me to humility. For me, "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish" means to keep striving and to keep learning.


D said...

I love this speech! It was forwarded to me a couple of months ago and I have not forgotten it!

Mark said...

This bit:

"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, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."

is so true. It's become the mantra of my life. And I think God disires that for us, oddly enough. He wants us to awaken to that which He intends for us. I find that life giving and encouraging.


Anonymous said...

God gave my fiancé something from Romans 6 yesterday, talking about how he should reckon (or consider) himself dead to sin and alive to God. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the distinction between being "gay" and being "homosexual," but I understand more than I ever did from reading your posts that being in Jesus Christ is really a new identity.

Old things are passed away, all things are become new. I don't know what to do with the concept that you can desire another man physically (sexual orientation? that's like Greek to me!) and not actually be sinning (What do you do with Romans 1?). I mean, doesn't God make our desires new after salvation?

And then I sit back and realize, "Kelly, you're still proud. You still get angry and sin in your anger. You still lust and struggle with materialism. Oh, and you still consider your identity separate from that of Jesus Christ."

And I realize that this is what grace is for: We can consider ourselves dead to sin because of Jesus Christ--it doesn't enslave us anymore. When I struggle with my own fleshly desires and sin, I don't have to justify them--Christ already did that. And I can know that because of Jesus Christ, nothing can separate me from the love of God. Even when I'm not perfect yet. You were right in your recent post: we're only complete in Jesus Christ.

Thanks for living such a vivid example of grace.