Because Life Is More than Money
There are many different perspectives about what bankers do. Our friends think we get off work every day at 3 and then go drink beer and play golf. Our mothers think we sit behind big desks in big offices making big decisions. Society thinks we do the same as robbers and thieves, but without masks and guns. Customers think we sit around counting our money. Bankers ourselves think we ride a horse dressed in cowboy clothes twirling a lasso trying to rope and herd cats. The reality is we sit around and fret over who won’t pay their note off, who is overdrawing their account and who is trying to hack into our computer system. This humor is based on a comic a friend recently sent us. It’s just humorous, not reality.
Someone observed that by watching the movie “Titanic” backwards you could view it as a heart-warming tale about a ship that jumps out of the water and saves lots of drowning folks. But that would be just a tale, not real.
The Bible is the best for learning how to figure out what’s real. One of my heroes from the Bible is Nehemiah. He wrote the Old Testament Book that bears his name. Nehemiah was keen on seeing through people’s tales to what was real. Please read the book for the whole story. I’ll just give you a snippet here.
As a Jew from Jerusalem in exile in Persia, Nehemiah was a servant to the Persian King Artaxerxes I. Nehemiah asks for leave from the King to return to his home town and help rebuild it. The King lets him go.
In the account of rebuilding Jerusalem, let’s pick it up in Nehemiah, Chapter Six which reads, “When…and the rest of our enemies heard that I (Nehemiah) had rebuilt the wall and that there were no more breaks in it—even though I hadn’t yet installed the gates— Sanballat…sent this message: ‘Come and meet with us at’….I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: ‘I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?’ Four times they sent this message and four times I gave them my answer. The fifth time—same messenger, same message—Sanballat sent an unsealed letter with this message: ‘The word is out…that you and the Jews are planning to rebel. That’s why you are rebuilding the wall. The word is that you want to be king and that you have appointed prophets to announce in Jerusalem, ‘‘There’s a king in Judah!’’ The king is going to be told all this—don’t you think we should sit down and have a talk?’ I sent him back this: ‘There’s nothing to what you’re saying. You’ve made it all up.’ They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought, They’ll give up; they’ll never finish it. I prayed, ‘Give me strength.’ Then I met secretly with Shemaiah…, at his house. He said: ‘Let’s meet at the house of God, inside The Temple; Let’s find safety behind locked doors because they’re coming to kill you, Yes, coming by night to kill you.’ I said, ‘Why would a man like me run for cover? And why would a man like me use The Temple as a hideout? I won’t do it.’ I sensed that God hadn’t sent this man. The so-called prophecy he spoke to me was the work of Tobiah and Sanballat; they had hired him. He had been hired to scare me off—trick me—a layman, into desecrating The Temple and ruining my good reputation so they could accuse me….The wall was finished…It had taken fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard the news and all the surrounding nations saw it, our enemies totally lost their nerve. They knew that God was behind this work.”
I’ve bolded the phrases of this Bible passage that I think indicate well that Nehemiah discerned tale from reality. God will allow us this same understanding if we, like Nehemiah, will pray and make ourselves available to God to do what He wants done.
Happy discerning tale from reality!