Allow me to start with a story today:
There once was a woodcutter who showed up at a log mill. The pay was good, and the working conditions were, too, so the woodcutter decided to be a good example. The first day he introduced himself to the foreman, who gave him an ax and assigned him to a certain spot in the forest. The man was excited and went into the forest to work, and in one single day he cut down eighteen trees.
“Good job,” the foreman told him. “Keep it up.”
Encouraged by the foreman’s words, the woodcutter decided to improve on his work the next day. So he went to bed early that night, and the next morning he got up very early, before anyone else, and went out into the forest. He worked very hard, but was only able to cut down fifteen trees. The next day, even though he worked just as many hours, he was only able to cut down seven trees, then five, and on the fifth day only two trees.
Worried about what his foreman would say, the woodcutter went to tell him what was happening and to promise he was giving it his best effort.
The foreman asked him: “When was the last time you sharpened your ax?”
“Sharpen my ax? I haven’t had time. I was too busy cutting down trees.”
Keep It Sharp
One of the most inconsistent practices for many Christians is to spend time daily with God. Each day the responsibilities of our lives pull us in many directions, often away from God.
And yet making time to build a vibrant relationship with God is what we need to face our day. If we are going to grow into the men and women God is calling us to become, we must take time to sit down and sharpen our ax.
When our ax gets dull we spend twice as much energy to produce half the results.
Even Jesus spent time away in prayer:
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. – Mark 1:35