If the axe is dull...
An old story recollects how two men were chopping pieces of wood. The first man laboured hard and steadily all day long. The second man also worked hard but every so often would stop and take a break. While on his breaks he would call out to the first man and say “Come and have a rest, I want to show you something that will help you.” But the first man would say “Not now I’m busy. I don’t want to lose any time.” By the end of the day the second man had chopped far more wood than the first man. This was a surprise to the first man because he was sure he had worked harder than the second man. So he asked “How did you do it? I mean how did you cut more wood than me?” And the second man replied “Well every time I stopped to take a break, I sharpened my axe!”
“If the axe is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.” -Ecclesiastes 10:10
A simple story, but a good illustration of how such a small act can have such a significant impact. Sharpening the axe can be the difference between hard work and diligence, efficiency and effectiveness. This is also a good representation for our lives. The axe represents the tools we have to produce results in our lives. And the sharpening of the axe represents how effective we are in using such tools. For example, time is a valuable asset each one of us has within our grasp, but if we’re not able to manage it well, that can be the difference between controlling our plans in life and fire fighting the obstacles life presents. We can sharpen our axe in four main disciplines of life:
Spiritual – prayer, study of the Word, meditation
Mental – reading, planning, organising, time management
Physical – exercise, nutrition, rest
Social – relationships, contribution to community
As above we can sharpen our axe by improving the way we plan, the way we organise, the way we manage our money and relationships and by understanding the process of how we learn. For the coming weeks I will take us through a few useful principles in some of these areas.
A sharper axe means a more effective cut.
God bless and protect
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