I have shared this story often because I was so amazed by it. And I know it to be true because my dad told me the story over and over again, about how to determine and choose what’s real – and how to determine and refuse anything that’s counterfeit. He worked at a bank for all of my childhood years and I remember this story so well…an experience he never forgot and made sure to tell his children…so they never forget.
Dad said that while working at the bank they were trained in spotting counterfeit bills. Of course, this would be a necessary knowledge to have while handling money, for sure! I recall thinking to myself that Dad was going to tell us about counterfeit bill markings and how they different from the real thing, so that they are easily spotted. I imagined that he would take some of these fake bills from his pocket and reveal their obvious differences, and we would oohh and ahhh as he showed us.
That wasn’t the case.
He told us how the bank workers were required to stay in the vault a long time (I can’t recall the length of time, but I think they had to work in there for days!). They were to handle the real money, feel it, observe it – and nothing but the real money – until they were accustomed to the feel. This would then become so real to their sense of touch and sight that they would then become so familiar with the real money that…
When anything fake showed it, it would feel so different, they would immediately spot it!
In other words, they spent time with the real thing, a lot of time, so that when the unreal dared to show up at their desk – they knew it. They would have become so familiar with the real that the fake didn’t have a chance of survival!
This story amazed me. I began imagining these bank workers in vault surrounded by piles of real money, money they were given to feel, to experience, to look at, and to know. And they had to immerse themselves in this money, not just walk in and out, having seen in for a few minutes. It took time for them to take in and receive the knowledge that came with learning what the real stuff was.
Dad said that after they emerged from the vault they could then go back to work, and easily spot a fake bill. They had felt the real money so long that the fake stuff immediately felt different and was discarded and exposed.
Isn’t that story so cool?
You know where I’m going with this.
In a world where fake news is rampant, stories arise daily about the why’s and how’s of our current situation, politicians and leaders spill out information that varies from day to day, and more – we can learn from the bank story something huge. It doesn’t take hours of sitting and sifting through all of the stories and trying to figure out what’s real, in order to live in peace in this crazy world. That type of experience brings exhaustion and confusion, and then tomorrow we have a dozen more stories to sift through…
The best way for us to be sure that we’re on the right track, we are ready to discard anything fake that could harm us, and that we don’t allow outside “counterfeit money” to pile up in our savings account (so to speak) is to immerse ourselves in – the WORD.
God’s word is completely full of hope, truth, faith, and the unfaltering character of God, our heavenly father. Our best bet to spending our time wisely to cover our family and what we claim as ours is to read it, study it, believe it and pray it. He offers peace that passes understanding in troubled times, he calms super stormy seas, and he turns water into wine. He parts seas that are not crossable, he heals the sick and even raises the dead, and he softens stone cold hearts and melts them into his pure love.
And that truth, that vault of piled up real stuff, is where we need to spend our days. It’s so that when we emerge into the real world again, we’re able to immediately spot the fake and choose the real. And when that line gets fuzzy again, we can always return to the vault and stay as long as we want, because that real wealth is not going anywhere…and neither is the One in whom we trust.