When men and women earn or acquire wealth, protect their means, and after they become bored with buying extravagant things, they focus on building a monument to themselves. They want to stand the test of time, to proclaim to humankind that they mattered. A grand manor, an estate, an opulent hotel, filled with their valued possessions, becomes their 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. Web search the titles to see the photographs and to learn how you might visit these interesting leftovers of powerful people. Some 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 tycoon.
GWVII was born into power, blessed with big money, schooled on how to make more money, and on how to wield power politically. In 1888, he shifted to “keep what I got mode” when he launched construction of Biltmore House on an 8,000 acre estate with a mountain range view near Asheville, NC.
Spencer Penrose, an adventure seeker who was born into a well-established Philadelphia family, went west to Colorado Springs. There, he dug into profitable mining and he used those profits to snap up real estate with stunning views of Pike’s Peak. His expertise in both of those endeavors led him to further successes in other areas of the Southwest, but he regarded Colorado Springs as his home. There, he built a road to the summit of Pike’s Peak, and he began construction of a world-class hotel (The Broadmoor) to attract wealthy Easterners and Europeans to play about the stunning red rock scenery.
Rags-to Riches William Randolph Hearst’s family exited Ireland to escape famine. He went to California to profit in gold mining and to start a newspaper publishing business in San Francisco during the storied “Gilded 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 Journal, and he shipped millions of stacked copies anywhere the railroad tracks led. Realizing the power of sensationalism, he built an attraction for rising Hollywood stars and film industry moguls, The Hearst Castle, at San Simeon. The castle appeared to be the home of Greek Gods, floating on Pacific Ocean clouds.
Visit these three “Monuments Unto Themselves.” Learn about the men who built them, and pay attention to their final endeavor of practicing philanthropy (good deeds). Did they do that because they wanted to share what they had (after they died), to attempt to deserve Heaven, or to perpetuate the story of their greatness? I do not 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, arose from the dead (carried our sin into death, then arose), just prior to Jesus’ ascension to heaven, Matthew 28:18. Do you see why I said, “pray to God through Jesus?”