Born a slave, Booker T. Washington didn't receive freedom until the Emancipation Proclamation when he was 9 years old. His situation didn't improve much even then and he was forced to live a life filled with depravation and poverty. Yearning for an education, young Booker soon found out that even that was denied him. One day while working in a coal mine, he overheard two men talking about the Hampton institute, a place where freed slaves could receive an education while working to pay for their tuition. Booker was immediately filled with a desire to attend this school and spent the next couple of years working and making his way to the school of his dreams. When he arrived, however, the head teacher did not seem very impressed. Eventually the woman told him that the recitation room next door needed swept. Jumping at the opportunity, Booker realized that this was his chance to prove his worth. After sweeping the room three times and dusting everything four times, the woman came in and inspected his work. Impressed, she gave him a job as a janitor and registered Booker as a student of the Hampton Institute.

I recently read a quote that reminded me of this episode in the life of Booker T. Washington. It stated, "We sometimes ask God to give us what we don't have, when we aren't even being faithful with what we do have." Jesus told a story once about a business man who left for a trip, leaving his possessions under the care of managers. Two out of the three managers invested his money wisely and doubled what they had been given. The last manager, however, buried the little money he had and didn't improve the business at all. When the business man returned, this manager was fired, but the other two were commended. Jesus quotes him as saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew 25:23). Start being faithful in the few things, whether it be your current salary or the responsibilities you have in the church or even the relationships and friendships you have. If you do, start expecting the many things.

Being faithful with what I have,

Pastor Sutherland

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