Think a minute… James Macie was a child born outside of marriage. Tragically this marked him for the rest of his life as a second-class citizen in England’s 18th century society. Even though his true father was Duke of Northumberland, James was never allowed to hold his father’s title. James’ mother tried to have his rightful honor in society restored, but the British government refused. Consequently, James was denied the rights of most ordinary citizens. He could not enter Parliament, hold a public office, or get a job in civil service. He could not even join the Army or the Navy.
Shortly after James graduated from Pembroke College, he ambitiously started a career in science. The results of his many advanced experiments were published, and James became a highly respected scientist. Yet, while other scientists were recognized by the British government with knighthoods, James was denied that honor simply because of his birth.
James never married, knowing that his country would also reject his children because of him. However, he still gave to others a great inheritance. When James died in 1829, he was a very rich man. But instead of leaving his wealth to his own nation, he left all of his money to the United States. He disinherited England as it had disinherited him.
In his will, James instructed that his money be used to start an institution that would continue to discover and spread knowledge for humankind. His only condition was that it would carry on his family name which was taken away from him at birth. The name he adopted later in life: Smithson. And today the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex. It has 19 museums, 9 research centers, and more than 140 affiliate museums around the world sharing with millions of people its cultural, historical, and scientific knowledge.
James used his “rejection to give him direction” to where he could invest his time, talents and treasures to make the world a better place. Just because you have felt rejected, it does not mean your life has no important purpose. On the contrary, if you sincerely ask your Maker to take charge of your heart and choices, Jesus, who will never reject you, will show you His great plan and purpose for your life… one day at a time. Just think a minute…
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