monuments to themselves
When men and women earn or acquire wealth, they protect their means, and after getting bored with buying extravagant things, they focus on building a monument to themselves. They want to stand the test of time, to proclaim to humanity that they mattered. A large mansion, an estate, an opulent hotel, filled with his valuable possessions, becomes his perpetual monument.
In the United States, examples include: The Biltmore House and Estate in the East, The Broadmoor Hotel in Central, and The Hearst Castle in the West. Search the web for the titles to see the photos and learn how you might visit these interesting remains of powerful people. A bit of history: George Washington Vanderbilt II (GWVII) was born into the powerful Vanderbilt dynasty. Spencer Penrose was a successful businessman. William Randolph Hearst was a newspaper and media magnate.
GWVII was born into power, blessed with lots of money, educated on how to earn more money, and how to wield power politically. In 1888, he switched to “keeping the way I got” when he launched construction of the Biltmore House on an 8,000-acre property overlooking the ridge near Asheville, NC.
Spencer Penrose, an adventure seeker who was born into a well-established Philadelphia family, went west to Colorado Springs. There, he turned to profitable mining and used those profits to buy real estate with stunning views of Pike’s Peak. His experience in both ventures led to further success in other areas of the Southwest, but he considered Colorado Springs home. There, he built a road to the top of Pike’s Peak and began construction on a world-class hotel (The Broadmoor) to attract wealthy Europeans and Easterners to play in the stunning red-rock scenery.
From rags to riches William Randolph Hearst’s family left Ireland to escape famine. He went to California to profit from gold mining and to start a newspaper publishing business in San Francisco during the famous “Gilded Age.” His newspaper prompted readers to demand the Spanish–American War, following an explosion on the USS Maine in Cuba. People who lived well outside of San Francisco wanted to read their morning paper, and sent millions of stacked copies anywhere the railroad tracks reached. Realizing the power of sensationalism, he built an attraction for Hollywood’s rising stars and movie industry moguls, The Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. The castle seemed to be the home of the Greek gods, floating in the clouds of the Pacific Ocean.
Visit these three “Monuments to themselves”. Learn about the men who built them, and pay attention to their final effort to practice philanthropy (good works). Did they do it because they wanted to share what they had (after they died), to try to earn Heaven, or to perpetuate the story of their greatness? I don’t know if these men prayed to God through Jesus Christ. Web search Matthew 7:21-23.
Jesus’ disciple, Matthew, quoted what Jesus taught. Matthew also quoted Jesus three days after jesus was crucified, rose from the dead (put our sin to death, then rose again), just before Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Matthew 28:18. Do you see why I said, “pray to God through jesus?”