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Friday, March 5, 2010

Carver Was In Full-Time Ministry

The accomplishments of Dr. George Washington Carver in the field of botany-chemistry are legendary, having developed 300 products from the peanut, and 118 from the sweet potato. The products Carver invented include printers ink, shaving cream, plastics, adhesives and much more.

But Carver only owned three patents on his many creations. Why? Because he didn't feel it was right to take money for something God gave him.

God gave him?

That's the way Carver saw it.

When he was inventing products from peanuts, Carver would go into his lab (which he called "God's Little Workshop") at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, and ask God to reveal to him the mysteries of the peanut.

Carver literally asked God why He made the peanut, and, by Carver's own testimony, God answered his prayer. Carver locked the door to his lab when he was creating things, because, as he put it, "only alone can I draw close enough to God to discover His secrets."

Carver epitomizes what it means to be a co-worker with God. In a letter written to Rev. Lyman Ward, Carver declared, "I am not interested in science or anything else that leaves God out of it."

At the age of 63, he wrote: "Man, who needed a purpose, a mission, to keep him alive, had one. He could be...God's co-worker...My purpose alone must be God's purpose...As I worked on projects which fulfilled a real human need, forces were working through me which amazed me. I would often go to sleep with an apparently insoluble problem. When I woke the answer was there."

Carver did not practice a "Sunday religion." His relationship with the Lord was an every day reality: "...all my life I have risen regularly at four o'clock and have gone into the woods and talked with God. There He gives me my orders for the day."

Carver was in full-time ministry. Not as a pastor, but as a botanist-chemist.

We'll unpack more about Carver's life next week, but in the meantime, please take a few moments to watch a short video clip about Dr. Carver, and note the way he seamlessly integrated his faith with his work:

If the video does not play, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wv4qYIyJoM

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