When men and women gain or acquire wealth, they protect their means and after getting bored of buying extravagant things, they concentrate on building a monument to themselves. They want to stand the test of time, to proclaim to humanity that they are important. A grand mansion, an estate, an opulent hotel, filled with your valuable possessions, becomes your 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 find out how you can 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 entrepreneur. William Randolph Hearst was a newspaper and media mogul.
GWVII was born into power, blessed with lots of money, educated on how to make more money and how to exercise power politically. In 1888, he switched to “keep what I got” when he launched construction of the Biltmore House on an 8,000-acre estate overlooking the mountain range near Asheville, North Carolina.
Spencer Penrose, an adventure seeker who was born into a well-established Philadelphia family, went west to Colorado Springs. There, he went into profitable mining and used those profits to purchase real estate with stunning views of Pike’s Peak. His experience in both endeavors led him to greater success in other areas of the Southwest, but he considered Colorado Springs home. There, he built a path to the top of Pike’s Peak and began construction of a world-class hotel (The Broadmoor) to attract wealthy Easterners and Europeans to play with the stunning red rock landscape.
From poverty to wealth William Randolph Hearst’s family left Ireland to escape the famine. He went to California to make a profit in gold mining and to start a newspaper publishing business in San Francisco during the famous “Golden Age.” His newspaper provoked 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 his Morning newspaper, and shipped millions of copies stacked anywhere the railroad tracks led. Realizing the power of sensationalism, he built an attraction for rising Hollywood 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 in themselves”. Get to know the men who built them and pay attention to their final effort to practice philanthropy (good deeds). Did they do it because they wanted to share what they had (after their death), to try to deserve 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 (led 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? “