Sharpening the AX
When I was a kid one of the things that we did as a chore was to split wood. We would do this on the back patio for the fires that we were going to have during the Colorado winters. We would grab the splitting wedge, the sledgehammer, and working gloves then head out side. Once outside we feel the brisk air against our face and you would see your breath. Then you would start by picking out the log that you were going to start splitting. You would roll it into place and then find a place to get the wedge stuck or you would tap it with the sledge until it stuck into the wood. At the beginning of the winter season the sedge would always be sharpened and easy to get started into the log. You could give it one or two taps and it was in place for you to being wailing away with the sledgehammer. It was never a process that you started out with well. There were at least two or three misses before you made good contact. But then you would get the rhythm and the motion. Then all of sudden you would be able to start seeing the wedge move down and hear the cracking of the cold wood. Then comes the final blow and you hear the wedge come clinking through the log onto the brick patio. Then the process begins all over again. I have to say that some of my best memories have to do with splitting wood out on the back patio. It was either because of the time I spent with my brothers and dad or because I beat my dad or brothers at splitting the wood. You know that anytime you get guys doing anything it becomes a competition.
But at the end of the season we used to argue, flip coins, and barter to get out of splitting wood. The question that you may be asking your self is why did things change? Well it changed because it got harder and because the wedge would get dull and banged up from all the previous use. Plus we all just got tired of doing it. We all enjoyed the fires but we didn’t want to do the work anymore.
I see this also in our lives today. We start out excited and ready to get work. But as we work and the wedge hits the ground it becomes dull and the work becomes harder. Maybe the wedge is your creativity, maybe it’s your leadership, and maybe it’s your relationships. I don’t know what it is but the edge becomes dull, the work gets hard, and we get to the quitting point. I want us to think about the verse that comes to us in:
Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NLT) “Since a dull ax requires great strength, sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.”
What place in your life do you need to sharpen the ax or wedge? What place do you feel that you are just working really hard? I encourage you to find a way to sharpen up. Is there a book that you have on your shelf that you have always said that you were going to read? Is there a conference or a class that you have put off going too? Have you not gone on that date with your spouse? Have you not spent time with that little one?
Take time to sharpen the ax, I pray that you seek to find the wisdom that Lord has placed in your heart. May the wisdom that you seek not be of just this world but of the Holy spirit.
What area in your life do you need to sharpen? Pray right now that the Lord will show you.
By the way turning 39 is not really that bad. I love being with my wife and kids.