By George Bowers Sr.
I recently arrived at a local hospital to make a pastoral visit. Unlike most patients, however, in this case a nurse had to escort me to the individual's room. In order to get into that particular section of the hospital, she used her identification badge that had a magnetic strip on the back. As she held the strip up to the sensor, the door magically swung open in front of us. While I had an identification badge of my own, mine lacked the proper coding to unlock the door and allow entry. In hospitals, this ensures privacy and protects patients from unnecessary exposure to infection.
That experience, however, made me think of other things in life that can open doors for us. The rank of Eagle Scout, a state Future Farmers of America degree, and a college diploma can all open various doors for those who earn and possess them. In other situations, it might be a last name or their previous reputation that provides opportunities for them that others might not enjoy. Even a neat and clean appearance will sometimes be all that is needed to get a job interview, a fair hearing, or a date. My experiences and contacts in FFA certainly proved to open many different doors in my life for which I am very grateful. Parents need to help children forge these important door opening keys for life as they grow through their formative years by encouraging their participation in various activities, events, and courses.
Just like the hospital, however, there are some doors in life that will only open for certain unique codes. No matter how hard one may push upon them, how many times an improperly coded card is swiped, or how earnestly one may beg or plead, the door will remain tightly locked until the proper code is supplied. Regardless of our resume or our pedigree, some doors have very specific requirements for entry.
One such doorway is the one to heaven. Unlike the superstore doors that slide open automatically whenever they detect motion, heaven's gates remain tightly closed to all except those who possess the unique entry requirement. What is that requirement? As beneficial as FFA and Boy Scouts may be, neither will open heaven's door. College degrees and personal fame are useless before this gate. The only code that will open the doorway to eternal life is Jesus Christ. Unless he is our savior, no amount of begging and pleading, pushing and shoving, money or power will wedge our way into that most important of doorways.
But receiving him is as simple as admitting that we are sinners and calling on Jesus to save us through his blood. Once we do that and begin living for him, we have the assurance of access to the eternal God himself. In fact, Jesus becomes our personal escort with the proper ID bearing the unique entry code of his own precious blood. The next time you walk into a supermarket or a hospital, remember the most important doorway of all, and be sure you've asked Jesus to ensure your entry to heaven. Blessings, George
George Bowers Sr. is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, "Wit and Wisdom of the Woods." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.