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 Main Index : Devotionals : Marketplace Meditations

 Devotional For Today 
Friday July 3, 2015.

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Your Epitaph

He will bless those who fear the LORD-- small and great alike (Psalm 115:13).

What will be written on your epitaph? How do you want people to remember you? What type of legacy will your life leave behind?

I interviewed a very successful and powerful man one time for a magazine who ran an international business that is a household name to all. He was a professed Christian, but this question was not easily answered. "I always knew someone would ask that question some day. I am not sure I am any more prepared to answer it now either," was the man's answer. He grappled for a few nice words, but it was clear he had not seriously considered his life much beyond his business success.

It was said of George Washington Carver that he got up early in the morning each day to walk alone and pray. He asked God how he was to spend his day and what He wanted to teach him that day. Carver grew up at the close of the Civil War in a one-room shanty on the home of Moses Carver...the owner of his mother. The Ku Klux Klan had abducted him and his mother, selling her to new owners. He was later found and returned to his owner, but his mother was never seen again.

Carver grew up at the height of racial discrimination, yet he had overcome all these obstacles to become one of the most influential men in the history of the United States. He made many discoveries for the use of peanuts and sweet potatoes. However, it was only after his recommendation for farmers to plant peanuts and sweet potatoes instead of cotton that led him into his greatest trial. This resulted in the farmer losing more money than before due to the lack of market for peanuts and sweet potatoes. However, when Carver cried out to the Lord, "Mr. Creator, why did you make the peanut?" Many years later, he shared that God led him back to his lab and worked with him to discover some 300 marketable products from the peanut. Likewise, he made over 100 discoveries from the sweet potato. These new products created a demand for peanuts and sweet potatoes. His contributions were more than any one event that contributed to rejuvenating the Southern economy.

As he became successful, he never became successful monetarily. He was offered six figure income opportunities from Henry Ford, and he became friends with presidents of his day, yet he knew what God had called him to do. Thus, he overcame great rejection during his lifetime for being black. However, his epitaph read:

"He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world."

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