In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. – Luke 6:12 ESV
There is a story that is told about a contest that was held to determine the top lumberjack in the country. The two top lumberjacks who were to compete were utterly different physically. One was a giant of a man who was 6’7″ tall and weighed in at 350lbs; the other was only 5’10” and weighed 200 lbs. The event was simple: be the first man to chop down 100 small trees.
The first few hours, the big man was noticeably ahead as it seemed only to take a couple of his mammoth swings to fall a tree. The smaller man worked very methodically and, to everyone’s amazement, would retreat to his truck every so often, only to reappear after a couple of minutes.
But in the end, even with his mysterious trips to his truck, the smaller man prevailed. As the two men stood there, covered in sweat and wood chips, the big man asked the smaller man, “What were you doing at your truck?” The winning lumberjack smiled and said, “I was sharpening my axe!”
Do you take time to sharpen your axe, or do you just keep swinging away? Do you devise a plan, and how do you complete the plan before you pray? It is admirable that you are covered with sweat and wood chips (so to speak), but it is important to spend time with the Lord to clarify your focus, plan your steps, and sharpen your axe.
St Francis de Sales (Francis de Sal) has been credited with saying,
“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”
Today, take time to sharpen your axe.