Religious leaders tried to trip Jesus up one day by asking Him to identify the most important commandment. Christ replied: “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” And then He added: “Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.”
Through his work as a botanist-chemist, Dr. George Washington Carver loved God and loved people. For Carver, his work is a daily opportunity for living out his love for Christ, and for humanity.
Carver’s love for God is evidenced by the fact that he asked the Lord to give him his “orders for the day” during his morning walks through the woods. Carver continued to commune with God throughout the day, while in the lab at Tuskegee Institute creating products from peanuts, sweet potatoes and soybeans.
In doing his work as a botanist-chemist, Carver put his daily trust in the Lord. He says: “God is going to reveal to us things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His. No books ever go into my laboratory. The thing I am to do and the way of doing it are revealed to me. The method is reveled to me the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain I would be helpless.”
When asked what the secret of his success was, Carver replied: “It is simple. It is found in the Bible, ‘In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.’”
At the age of 75, Carver wrote: “…if we do not take Christ seriously in our every day life, all is a failure because it is an every day affair.”
Clearly, Carver’s love for God compeled him in his daily work as a botanist-chemist. He is able to look beyond the peanuts to his love for the Lord, and this gave his work with plants extraordinary meaning, and a higher purpose beyond the plants themselves.
Carver was not only compelled by his love for God, but his love for people too, as we'll see next week.
In the meantime, here is the big question of the day: How can our daily work be a channel for loving God and loving people?