Today I was assaulted.
I wasn’t physically beaten or verbally abused, but I was digitally harassed this morning. Someone, whose identity I am still clueless of, breached the less-than-par cyber defenses of my Facebook account. Maybe now is a good time to admit that I didn’t create a password that the CIA would have approved of, in fact I tried to use something that I wouldn’t forget for a long time. But apparently that was a poor idea. This is yet another reason that I use social media but I do not rely on social media. I am just the next in a long line of people who have seen their virtual vault breached and lived to tell about it.
Interestingly, there wasn’t an attack on a bank account. Some hardened criminal didn’t try to use my identity to skip the outstretched arm of the authorities. No one came to my house looking for “action” – whatever that really means. None of those heinous infractions described my run in with the criminal element. No, my close encounter was much more nefarious. Some technological miscreant hacked into my Facebook account to send a message to my “friends” trying to get them to buy discounted iPads. Can you believe it? I feel violated on a historical level.
In the aftermath, after I’d washed my hands, dirty from touching a keyboard tainted by a hacker’s touch, I began thinking about the situation. The law was broken, in this situation, because someone wanted to peddle discount electronics. All that trouble for an ad that was, in all reality, a bogus attempt to harvest credit card information. It was then that I realized that this entire situation would never have happened had someone, somewhere not clicked on the link and set out on the digital trail in search of a cheaper iPad.
Obviously the statement rings true: “if something’s too good to be true, then it probably is”. But, other than this bit of sage advice I think there’s a deeper issue here. We are constantly in search of the easiest things in the easiest ways. It’s not that I don’t understand it, it’s that I disagree with it.
I am just now getting to the point in my life that I can get some perspective and see the results of some of the decisions I’ve made. From this vantage point I am beginning to see a pattern. The more effort, sweat, prayers, and tears that go into something the more it is generally worth in the end. Simply put, great things don’t come half price. All of the things that have made, and still make, my life blessed and worth living have cost either me or someone else quite a bit.
My wife: It’s possible that I’m still be paying for her engagement ring
My children: if you have been in a delivery room you’d understand
My vehicles: I own them, which was a multi-year commitment to not trading or selling regardless of the nicer, newer things passing me on the interstate
My paid bills: I don’t work because i’m obsessed with going to the same building every day
My salvation: is there any higher price paid than Jesus giving His life.
All of these, and many more, point to one reality: things that matter cost. Discount iPads don’t exist, Apple has set their prices at a certain level so they will be uniform wherever they are sold. And in much the same way discount kids, marriages, and commitments don’t exist.
So I’m thankful for hard things. Hard things produce good things. Difficult decisions have brought peace, and disciplined living has brought joy. No one knows this more than Jesus. Paul writes this:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Friends, be thankful for hard things. Don’t let yourself get caught up in a discount life, or the ads for a “Life, Half-Off!”. These promises are not only unwise, but untrue.