I am not very technologically oriented. In fact, I’m pretty bad at anything having to do with computers. I am grateful, however, that our son Andrew is pretty adept at helping me in areas where I don’t really have any skills. I do what I can, but that doesn’t amount to much. I like to think that I have other redeeming qualities, but if the world depended on me for advances in the use of technology, I am afraid that we would still be living in caves and going to war with sticks and stones.
Now that’s not to say that I don’t have some of the tools of the trade. I have my MacAir, my third generation iPad, my iPhone and by some miracle they all sync together somewhere in the “cloud.” And Andrew has done all this for me, as well as all the things that he has accomplished for Janet and her computer. He has also assisted Kristin and several of my clients.
I am usually pretty careful to make sure that I don’t screw anything up – at least as far as it is in my power to avoid. Mind you, I don’t do anything real heavy on my system – just email, documents, spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations – and not very sophisticated ones at that. I know how to get around when I go out on the road and teach, but once again, credit Andrew with getting the projector and everything else hooked up so it works flawlessly even when I get my hands on it.
So that brings us to several days ago when I went to update several of my passwords. After all, I have airline and hotel accounts; and it seems like every month or so I am signing up for something that requires its own password. Earlier this year it was a video conferencing service for one of my clients in Dallas, several months ago it was the new Global Entry accounts that Janet and I obtained for easier travel through security at the TSA checkpoints and when returning from overseas and over the week-end I needed the bank login for our ministry account, Chaplains at Work. I keep all the account names and passwords in a master excel spreadsheet that is, in itself, password protected. I know where the file is and so I am pretty diligent about updating it when a password change is required.
I went to get the bank login info and it wasn’t in the file! I couldn’t believe it. Then I noticed that several other passwords were missing. I went to pay for the post office box online and couldn’t remember the password – but it was missing. Today, I went to pay the online invoice for video conferencing last month – it was missing also. Admittedly, a wave of desperation swept over me. Andrew has known for several days that there was a problem but he has been busy with other things. However, Monday evening he called me and found that somehow I had either opened or copied the file and created a second password spreadsheet – by mistake.
In short, the whole thing was a mess. With Andrew’s direction, I was able to rebuild the file and get all the passwords up to date. Since I noticed the problem, I have had to change the passwords on several of the accounts I use, so the lists were pretty jumbled. But I rested easier knowing that things have now been straightened out. I know passwords are necessary for security reasons, but I don’t make it a habit to remember them all and quite frankly, I depend on the list.
It struck me that when you don’t have a password, certain things are closed off to you. Either you can’t login, or get the information you need, or make the purchase you have in mind. In fact, you can’t make a plane reservation or book a hotel room without the right password.
But God doesn’t work that way. Because once He has invited you into the kingdom, a simple “yes” is your eternal password. In fact, you don’t even have to say it, or type it, you just have to think it – and you will never need it again – you’re good to go forever. You don’t have to hunt around a large file trying to remember some secret code; or whether you need to use caps or lower case letters or combinations of letters and numerals – it doesn’t make any difference. Because any acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord and Savior gets the job done. By the way, one other thing – God isn’t trying to keep you out – He’s trying to let you in – quite a bit different from the way the world works, isn’t it?
The verse for tonight is a simple one – just like getting into the kingdom. From John 6:47, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” That’s all there is to it – it’s as easy as that. My encouragement this evening is to make sure you realize that God is just waiting for you to say “yes.” And if you have already done that, my prayer is that you will teach others the password to eternal life. After all, you won’t need a spreadsheet to remember it and it isn’t even a secret. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…