Keeping the axe sharp

“If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.”
(Ecclesiastes 10:10)

As I write this month’s reflection, I am looking out on a thick blanket of virgin snow, and thankful to be sitting in front of a roaring log fire.

I am blessed with a good number of trees that need regular thinning, and a good number of neighbours and friends who keep me well supplied with wood. One of my favourite ‘big-boys-toys’ is my chainsaw, which makes quick work of cutting that wood into logs, but to split those logs for burning I still have to put in some hard work with my axe. I have learned from experience the difference it makes whether that axe is sharp or not. Time spent sharpening it, before I start chopping, is time well spent!

I believe the same is true of all that we turn our ‘hand’ to. If we don’t keep ourselves ‘sharp’ then we end up relying on sheer effort. And this is particularly true of our service of God. I am by nature an activist, so when I see that something needs doing, my inclination is to just get stuck in. But if/when I fail to keep myself ‘sharp’, be that Spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically, then my service ends up being sheer hard work, and often fruitless.

At the end of Luke chapter 2 we’re told: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.” Now, I appreciate he was only 12 at the time, but if it was important for the Son of God, how much more important it is for us.

Lent gives us an opportunity to take stock of our state of ‘dullness’ and I pray we will find ways to sharpen ourselves up physically, emotionally, mentally and Spiritually. So that we can be more effective tools in God’s hands.

With love in Christ,

Neil Le Tissier

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