A recent development in my life has been the proliferation of passwords. Back in high school, the only thing that I had to commit to memory was my locker combination and the phone numbers of my friends. Passwords was a game show during which Charles Nelson Riley would make an inappropriate joke which would fly over my young head.
Now, I have passwords to access my phone. I have passwords to access my computer. I have passwords for my Internet. I have passwords for my iPad. I have passwords that allow me to pay my bills; and I have passwords to check on my children's grades. I am told that I have to commit these to memory as well. That's just at home, where I can store all these passwords in a safe and now disclosed place. (Yes, I ignore the memorization advice in my personal life.)
At work, I am inundated with more passwords. I have passwords for my work phone. I have passwords for my work computer. I have passwords for my work accounts and passwords for my access to court documents. Lastly, I have passwords for my passwords in case I forget my passwords. Unfortunately, I cannot store these passwords in a non-disclosed, safe place; I have to remember them. (Yes, I have to commit them to memory, and not write them down.)
The cruel joke about work passwords is that I have to change them every 90 days. There is nothing more that ruins your morning faster than the prompt telling you that it is time to change your passwords.
Tracy can attest to the anger the wells up from inside me when I enter into the password zone. The zone happens when I need to get online and a stupid machine is telling me that I am not entering in the correct password. I will admit that my phone has become a projectile. I found that Samsung phones are quite aerodynamic, whereas the iPhone has a bit of a downward drag. (Although, I have learned to be careful to aim it at a couch or some other soft landing area so I do not have to replace it. I also buy a tough case to further prevent any damage from my impulsive fits.).
Passwords now exist to protect our information. Identity theft has cost the nation millions. Passwords are the bike lock/combination locker from our past. We use these passwords to limit the personal information to the public. We are encouraged to keep information away from the public. The world tells us too much information is a bad thing.
Fortunately, there is personal information that doesn't need a password. As children of God, we have all received the grace given to us via Christ. Christmas celebrates this gift that came to us in the form of the Christ Child. This is good news; and a personal gift to every one of us. This is the type of news that should not be withheld from the world. We, as Christians, should be ready to share this information rather than keeping it locked up. Christ has asked us to share this good news to all of humanity even that Russian Hacker whose schemes are the reason that we have to live with so many passwords.
This Christmas, let's ditch our personal passwords and share the Christmas story with someone we would not normally share this information. Let's be the shepherds shouting and praising God on our way home to friends and family. Lastly, let us be welcoming and warm to all visitors who might be attending this Advent/Christmas season.
May your holiday be filled with Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!