Ever hear of Bethany Hamilton? By age 13, she was a world-class surfer. That was before a shark, without warning, appeared and bit off her entire left arm. The loss of blood almost killed her. Isn’t that a clue to take up a new sport—on land?

Not for Bethany. She loved surfing. What’s more, she believed God’s purpose in her life trumped even the loss of her arm. In three weeks, she was back on the board in the water, rebalancing her return to world-class competition.

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge, with a word about setbacks. Surprise and disappointment come to us all. Bethany reminds us that no setback outlasts a tough mindset … it’s the high calling of our daily work.

Image by Mohd Rizal Ismail. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr.

Originally Published: Sunday, July 24, 2011

Howard E. Butt, Jr., served as president of the H. E. Butt Foundation until 2014. He is the founder of Laity Lodge and The High Calling, and serves as vice chairman of the H. E. Butt Grocery Company.


A Christian's ultimate aim is not to get into heaven and endlessly relax. Rather, as we see in the Garden of Eden, work is an essential part of God's design for paradise. God gave Adam a vocation: to name the animals and tend to the garden. Just as every member of the Trinity works to glorify every other member, so are we created to glorify God with our work. Like Adam, we are called to create and cultivate good things for God's kingdom on earth.

Explore this topic
comments powered by Disqus