The phrase “Think Different” was popularized by Apple, Inc., in 1997, when they used the slogan as an ad campaign to draw attention to the faster computers they were building. The campaign used the faces of famous philosophers, artists, and innovators who during their time were able to expand the paradigm of their practice. Jim Henson and The Muppets. Miles Davis and Fusion Jazz. Picasso and Surrealism. These people challenged the status quo artistically, while others were more politically overt – Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jackie Robinson. These were all part of Apple’s brilliant and absurd campaign to rejuvenate their company.
“Think Different” is a way of being that challenges what society has held as a foregone conclusion. It pokes at birthrights and conventions and asks if they remain adequate for such a time as this. I believe God calls us to think different, and I believe the archetype for such an attitude is found in Jesus the teacher, prophet, and savior. There are four instances in particular – all found in the Gospel of Mark – where Jesus presses those around him to assess (and in some cases, reject) the status quo. In this America of competing values and thoughtless critique, it is now more than ever time for each soul to steal away from the mob and “Think Different”, using the Gospel as our guide.