You’ve probably heard about George Washington Carver. Did you know he started out as a Christian young professional? One of his most significant prayers went something like this:

“God, what’s the purpose of the universe?” God replied that was too big a question.

“God, what’s the purpose of man?” God replied that was still too big a question.

“God, what’s the purpose of the peanut?” At that, God suggested Carver use his abilities to take it apart and put it back together.

With that divine inspiration, Carver revolutionized the southern agricultural economy by demonstrating how 300 products could be derived from the “worthless” peanut. He even testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on the uses of the peanut, a highly unusual event in the segregation era.

Here’s my take on this story. George Washington Carver wasn’t clergy. He was fully invested in a “lay” career as a botanist. When he talked to God, he wasn’t trying to be somebody else. He was dedicated to finding God’s purpose in something most people considered to lack any real value.

Have you ever felt that your job was too normal, small or maybe even a little pointless? (What a mistake if Carver had thought that!) God doesn’t need us to be something we’re not in order to use us in a big way. When we invite Him to be involved in our careers, there is no telling what we may discover or where we could end up.