I have recently looked into the life of George Washington Carver, and I was amazed. This man had an incredible understanding of plants. What I am particularly amazed by is this story he often told:
“One morning I was talking to God,
‘Mr. Creator what was the universe made for?’ I asked him.
‘You want too know to much’, He answered, ‘your mind is too small to know that much.’
Then I asked him, ‘Mr. Creator, what was man made for?’
‘Little man,’ He said, ‘you still want to know too much.’
Then I asked Him to tell me about the peanut, ‘Mr. Creator, what is the peanut for?’
‘That’s more like it’ He said.
Then I went into my laboratory and tried to find out what the peanut was and why God had made it.”
George Washington Carver discovered over 300 things that could be made from the peanut, things like brick and mortar, dyes and cosmetics. Not only did God gift Mr. Carver with understanding the peanut but also many other plants as well. From an early age he came to be known as “the plant doctor” as folks began to take him their sick plants, George knew how to make them well. He saved the entire cotton crop of the southern United States by his understanding that peanuts (then fairly useless) restored the essential nutrients to the soil that cotton depleted. George Washington Caver is now known as the father of chemurgy. Chemurgy is a little known branch of chemistry that has to do with making industrial use out of agriculture (stuff from plants) for example we somehow got a rubber substitute from corn during World War 2 when Japan cut off our Pacific rubber supply.
This new understanding of plants looked extremely promising until it met its doom in the 1950’s when the newly powerful petrochemical industry effectively crushed it. Now we are enslaved to oil and men kill and die for it’s cheapness. I know God created oil too, but I am wearied to death by its presence, it is everywhere I look. Should Jesus tarry I would like to see the science of chemurgy reappear, though at a cursory look I cannot find any college degrees in it. Right now, I am not so much interested in the more complicated stuff, for example, Henry Ford made a car body from hemp, sisal, and flax that when hit with a sledge hammer didn’t even leave a dent! For now, I just want to get things from what God has made for me, paper from papyrus, clothes from flax, canoes from birch bark, aspirin from willow bark, hats from straw, etc etc. I recently saw a picture of some sandals that someone made from esparto grass 2500 years ago in Spain for example. God has created these things for me and you. I have begun to rethink my -“everything is handed to me by industrial machines”- life, and I am now asking, and encourage you to do the same, for the same thing my new hero George Washington Carver asked from God.
“He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.” – Daniel chapter 2