I’ve been reading Walter Isaacson’s outstanding biography about Steve Jobs lately and in it Isaacson quotes Jobs on more than one occasion saying how much doing acid did for his outlook in life and creativity.
He even goes as far as to say that people that have never done acid simply don’t get it and will, in some sense, lead a limited life. This whole train of thought seems rather sad to me and made me wish all the more that Jobs had, at some point in his life, had a real, dynamic encounter with Jesus.
It also reminded me of a experience I once had with a dude we’ll call David. David was a no nonsense ex-military dude, a paratrooper of some sort, that had little more than a passing interest in God. Somehow David got lassoed into attending a retreat a few of us had organized.
This “retreat” was little more than an excuse for a bunch of college students to head up into the mountains, rent a cabin, and enjoy some time together. We did, however, have some shared times of Bible study and, on one evening, we decided we should have a time of prayer where we would simply ask the “Holy Spirit to come and meet with us.”
The moment David heard about this plan he got nervous. This was interesting because David was not a person to fear much in this life. He was a tough guy that had an easy way with women and a fast car. Not much slowed him down or gave him pause. He certainly wasn’t a man to be easily intimidated. Still, when it came to prayer, specifically a prayer time devoted just to seeking God’s presence, he seemed genuinely afraid. I realized later that David, like a lot of us, didn’t like losing control and our prayer time seemed intent on doing just that as we sought to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit.
David had already attended a couple of Bibles studies and a time of praying over a long list of random prayer requests at our little retreat without much discomfort and he liked the members of the group, especially one attractive young lady, so he decided to attend this last prayer time despite his concerns.
I opened the prayer time simply. All I said was, “Holy Spirit, please come into this place and meet with us tonight.” At that very instant something powerful happened to David. He started crying and this was not a man that would easily cry, or ever cry. His crying started slowly at first and then it quickly turned into sobbing. I really didn’t know what to do. Here was this manly man with his head bowed just sobbing. The rest of the group just started praying silently for David.
After a few minutes, David’s mourning turned into something else. He started laughing. At first the transition was hard to follow but it was clear at some point he was actually laughing. It was like his mourning had been turned into joy. Again, nobody was quite sure what to do. We weren’t actually expecting anything like this to happen, especially not to David. We continued to pray silently for him.
Finally, David looked up at me and through a mixture of his remaining tears of pain and his new tears of joy he said, “Wow! That was intense, man! I used to jump out of airplanes at night while doing acid and that was nothing compared to this! Nothing!”
Later, David told us that as we prayed he had experienced an encounter with the Living God. He told us that deep hurts came to the surface at first and that these were hurts that he had never been able to deal with before. In fact, due to the condition of his scarred heart, he hadn’t been able to even cry about these deep wounds. Then, after being able to see them and finally grieve about them. He felt the Lord start to remove these burdens, along with many mistakes he had made along the way, as he yield them, and himself, to Jesus.
David gave his life to Jesus that night and later he told me again about how it was greater than even jumping out of an airplane while doing acid.
Steve Jobs was brilliant; truly a genius. I just wish that he had an experience like David. I think his mind would have really expanded if that had occurred. Also, his heart would have been relieved of pain and guilt. Most importantly, his life would have been transformed forever.