Fancy Letters, Far-Reaching Choices

In recent weeks, we've heard a lot about the late Steve Jobs, the founder & CEO of Apple Computers. In his death, a man known for guarding his privacy has had his life brought into a very public light. We've learned not just of his accomplishments in the world of computers but also of his adoption as an infant, his reunion with a long-lost sister, and even his final words in a hospital bed. One of his publications brought to the forefront was the commencement address that he made at Stanford University. In that speech, he mentions one of the most beneficial courses that he took at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. The class was not computer science or mathematical logic or programming.

It was calligraphy.

Fancy handwriting? Really?


Jobs describes the impact that the class had on him: "I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. "*

As I type this blog entry on an Apple computer, I'm aware that Steve Jobs made a decision that impacts me everyday. The fonts that I use on this computer are now present because he made a decision to study written letters. Simple. We all have opportunities to make decisions--both big and small. But sometimes it's the seemingly small ones that have the greatest impact on others. The Bible overflows with stories of people who make choices. Will their choices promote life and vitality or death and destruction? Our choices in this day and age have the same power. Steve Jobs is one example. Will you carefully consider each decision you make today? As we do so, let us remember the Son of God who made the choice that has an eternal impact on our souls: giving his life that we might have Life. Choose wisely. Choose simply. Choose life.

grace, peace, joy, and all good stuff to each of you--
Pastor Darian

* This is a selection from Jobs' address that can be found in full at Christian Science Monitor.