Once upon a time, there were two woodcutters named Peter and John. They were often at loggerheads over who chopped more wood, so one day, they decided to hold a competition to determine the winner. The rules were simple—whoever chopped down the most trees in a day would win. The next morning, thus, both of them took up their positions in the forest and started chopping away at their fastest possible speed. This lasted for an hour before Peter suddenly stopped. When John realised there was no chopping sound from his opponent’s side, he thought: “Aha! He must be tired already!” And he continued cutting down trees at double the pace. A quarter of an hour passed and John heard his opponent chopping again. Both of them carried on synchronously. John was starting to feel weary when the chopping from Peter stopped once again. Feeling motivated and smelling victory, John kept on hacking - with a smile on his face. This went on the whole day. Every hour, Peter would stop chopping for fifteen minutes while John kept going relentlessly. When the competition ended, John was absolutely confident that he would carry the day. To his great astonishment, however, Peter had actually cut down much more wood. “How could you have chopped down more trees than I? I heard you stop working every hour for fifteen minutes!” exclaimed John. Peter replied, “Well, it’s really simple. Every time I stopped work, while you were still chopping down trees, I was sharpening my axe.” -Author Unknown
Everybody everywhere seems to be busy. But as Henry David Thoreau says, "It's not enough to be busy - so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?" While some people really are busy doing things that are truly worthwhile, many others just try to keep up appearances - with zilch to show for their efforts, of course. Most people, though, are simply too busy doing this and that and trying to achieve certain goals that they do not take the needed time to renew themselves, to recharge their batteries, to learn and grow—to sharpen the “axe.”
Both spiritually and physically, we all need to sharpen the axe. In our homes, despite having to fend for our families, we all need to take some time off to be with those very people for whom we work. At work, we need to take the necessary breaks to re-energize ourselves so we can be more productive. At school, as we all know, after some hours of work, our real output drops to negligible levels. All these attest to the simple fact that rest - breaks - are highly relevant in our lives if we mean to maintain or better our output.
A new year is upon us. We must, of course, work the hardest we can; but when we're done, we must allow ourselves to soak in a bath of much-needed rest. Every step of the way, this year, we must learn to sharpen the axes of our faith, hope and love - of our knowledge, talents, skills and what have you, so we can perform at optimal levels for God and country, fulfilling our heavenly Father's purpose for our lives in these next 366 days - and that includes today!
BE BLESSED AND BE A BLESSING ONTO ALL..