It provided access – especially important when one is a child and a “club” is organized by friends. Know the password and your life has meaning. You have friends. Say it and you have VIP access to the clubhouse for “meetings” and the top-secret business. No password? Well, you’re on your own, kid.
Prior to admission in “the club” – an important question is asked. It is the most solemn of occasions: “What’s the password?”
Guarded by girl friends giggling with excitement, they shout in unison: “No boys allowed.”
Speaking this made outsiders insiders and all was right in our young world.
If only it were that simple now. But maybe it is. Let me explain.
TOO MANY PASSWORDS
Have you noticed today that one password isn’t enough? I’m confident my cerebellum develops new wrinkles each time I try to recall my plethora of passwords – for my computer, my bank account, my voice mail. With all the security these imply, I wonder why God doesn’t get with the program and require a type of heavenly password from us.
Forget boring ones: savednlovin’it, jesusfreak, wwjd? I’d go for one like: geekforjesus; Godzgirl; Iwitnesseverytuesdaynightbutnotanyothertime? Ouch.
Think of the great password benefit – unprecedented access to God.
As I strain to maintain password recall here and now, part of me – some refer to it as their heart – is comforted when I realize The Truth. Everyone’s password is the same. Everyone’s access is just as privileged. No card to carry. No special handshake. No spiritual mumbo jumbo.
Identity isn’t lost or stolen here. It’s revealed, beautified and fulfilled.
Since I’ve been old enough to know right from wrong, I have known about the password. My previous sarcastic approach to life kept me from really knowing The Password. Learn from my past. You’ll save yourself 23 years!
MY KNOWLEDGE DIDN’T MATTER
What’s crazy is that this realization and subsequent action had nothing to do with knowing “about” the password or where I practiced my religious activity. I didn’t have to recall historical facts, name Jesus’ 12 closest followers, recite authors and order for the 66 smaller books of the Bible. Even years of perfect worship attendance wasn’t required. Come to think of it, I did have a respectable attendance record but back to the story.
So, what is the password?
In my younger days, he had seemed too far to really know. Consequently, I thought my religious effort, fervor and a moral life beyond reproach would more than suffice. Surely, at least, they would make me feel “closer” to him.
But I didn’t.
It was during my senior year in college when I took a class through a student ministry. It seemed pretty harmless – learning how to share my faith. During one activity, I was startled. I had nothing to share. During an assignment where I was to write my “testimony” I struggled. A testimony is a church word explaining the story of how I realized who Jesus truly was and my decision to ask for forgiveness and become his follower. Truth has a way of clearing up distortion.
So what did I do with the assignment ? I did what any self-respecting person would do. I rationalized. After all, since I was attending one the country’s best journalism schools, I knew I could write about anything.
Anything except …
It was then – at age 23 – that Jesus showed me his proximity. It was then that he showed me what my effort, my fervor and my morality had meant. Their insignificance shocked me; I was frightened to realize that all those exceptional efforts had absolutely no eternal value. Didn’t Jesus realize I had gone to lots of trouble to live by my own stringent standards?
Next He showed me a scripture that made me stop, listen and shiver.
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” James 2:19 (NIV)
For crying out loud, I thought. I do believe. Why else would I work so hard at being “Christian”? Did you notice all the effort I had put into life until this point? I had done this…I had done that…I had not done this….I had not done that… Surely I was “sanctified,” selected because of my selectiveness.
After a struggle of several weeks, I realized that “knowing about” Jesus and “knowing” Him were not the same.
Then I wondered: could Jesus look past my superhuman efforts and prideful practices? Would He still accept me?
Was he really the ONLY answer I needed? Wasn’t there something I needed to do as well? After all, I was sincere!
But scripture after scripture kept showing me – yes, I had been sincere – sincerely wrong. Wrong about Jesus and who He is. Wrong about my efforts to be Him in my life. I had not known Jesus and what He had done for me. Double ouch.
Next I paused…reflected…and decided. More important than updating my Facebook status, twittering or checking my bank balance. I found myself in…
March 20 was the date my spiritual struggle ended. I asked Jesus to open me to himself – and He did.
My calendar called it the first day of spring. For me, it was a new start in life. It meant I now had full access to Him, but more importantly, He had full access to me.
Do you know Him? If not, I hope you will decide to know Him.
The Password is Jesus – and yes, boys are allowed!
If you have questions about Jesus I’ll be glad to try to answer them or get the answer. If you’d like to tell your story about knowing THE Password, please do. Someone needs to hear your story.