Thankful, or Taken for granted?

Thankful, or Taken for granted?

By Kevin Butler


As the calendar pages flip quickly toward the end of June, I’ve received a number of notes and e-mails thanking me for serving as editor. Many have said that they will miss reading this page.

I’ve been humbled by how these words have made an impact. Some readers have used these “Korners” as devotionals at local gatherings and Bible studies, others have been collected and re-read, and one “clever” person even snuck some of my just-published words into a prayer at a family dinner—where I was a guest.

Speaking of prayer, mine is one of thanksgiving to God for this ministry opportunity and platform. May the ongoing words shared in the Recorder continue to minister far beyond our denomination and years.

Here’s a Korner from a dozen years ago. The title is not about me, but the Sabbath.



Receiving a thank-you note in the mail always gives me a boost. It’s a thoughtful gesture from a grateful person.

During this spring’s Resurrection season, I had the opportunity to do a dramatic reading at the Milton church. One church member was so moved emotionally and spiritually that he sent me a thank-you card to express those feelings. I was encouraged to know that the Lord had provided a blessing through my efforts.

I got two more cards this week. One was a belated thanks for a Christmas gift. (Hey, I just mailed a similar note of my own a couple of weeks ago.)

The other expression came in the form of a “store-bought” card, all the way from Arizona. I had called an older gentleman who winters out there after hearing that his usual springtime return to Wisconsin had to be postponed due to a diabetes-related operation.

Our phone conversation lasted less than 10 minutes, but when I opened that lovely American Greetings card, you would have thought that I had spent several days in person at his bedside. He and his wife were so grateful and thankful to hear from a friend.


God “wrote” into Creation a wondrous, weekly gift: the Sabbath. Do we express our thanks for His faithfulness? Or are we more like what Philip Yancey wrote in Christianity Today several years ago:

“I remember my first visit to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Rings of Japanese and German tourists surrounded the geyser, their video cameras trained like weapons on the famous hole in the ground. A large, digital clock stood beside the spot, predicting 24 minutes until the next eruption.

“My wife and I passed the countdown in the dining room of Old Faithful Inn overlooking the geyser. When the digital clock reached one minute, we, along with every other diner, left our seats and rushed to the windows to see the big, wet event.

“I noticed that immediately, as if on signal, a crew of busboys and waiters descended on the tables to refill water glasses and clear away dirty dishes. When the geyser went off, we tourists oohed and aahed and clicked our cameras; a few spontaneously applauded.

“But, glancing back over my shoulder, I saw that not a single waiter or busboy—not even those who had finished their chores—looked out the huge windows. Old Faithful, grown entirely too familiar, had lost its power to impress them.”


Are we taking God’s weekly gift for granted?

We can accurately predict—to the minute—what time Sabbath begins. Just like Old Faithful, we know it will come.

God’s faithfulness and love deserves a response. Let’s be thoughtful and grateful, and send Him a thank-you with our untiring praise, wonder, and obedience.

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