Chopping Wood

August 18, 2008
by John Stuart

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

There's an old story told about two woodcutters who were in a forest. They were being paid commission for every log that they chopped. Both of them were ambitious and wanted to outdo the other. One of the woodcutters spent all day chopping logs, without taking a break. He supposed that if he continued working, he would be able get more logs done than his rival.

The second woodcutter took a break every hour for five minutes. At the end of the day, he had taken ten breaks. The first woodcutter believed that he had outpaced his rival, but when it came to tallying the amount of wood actually chopped, the second woodcutter had the largest pile and earned more commission.

"How did you do that?" asked the first woodcutter. "How did you manage to chop more logs than me, with all those breaks?"

"Each time I took a break," answered the second woodcutter, "I sharpened my axe. It meant I could chop more logs than you in the latter part of the day."

The same applies to what we do spiritually. If we're not taking time to sharpen our souls with prayer, Bible reading, and worship, then our connection to God becomes blunt, and our faith is almost useless in times of trial. In the midst of all our busyness, we need to take time out to be with God, to focus on Christ, and to be re-sharpened by the Holy Spirit.

A commitment to reading these devotionals is a step in the right direction, but let's not make this our only break in the day to be with God. Let us snatch some precious moments each hour to ask for guidance, to give Him thanks, and to re-read today's Scripture. In doing so, we will discover a new strength and spiritual stamina within us, which will enable each of us to overcome and complete all that we face today.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are precious to us, and we know that we need to strengthen our relationship with You. Help us today to make the right moves and take the right steps, which will enhance our faith and sharpen our souls, so that we may better serve You and attract others to Your kingdom. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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