“Since a dull ax requires great strength, sharpen the blade.
That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.”

Ecclesiastes 10:10, NLT

Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s search for meaning in life. He asks questions like:
What can humans do to find satisfaction and happiness? What is worthwhile in life? Ecclesiastes is a compilation of observations, such as: “Everything has its time;” “Life is not always fair, so live wisely” and “No one knows what the future will bring, so respect and obey God.”

Some years ago a young man asked the foreman of a logging crew for a job. “Let me see you fell this tree,” said the foreman. The young man stepped forward and skillfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, “Start Monday!” On Thursday the foreman approached the young man and said, “You can pick up your paycheck today.” “I thought you paid on Fridays,” he replied. “Normally we do,” said the foreman, “but we are letting you go because you are behind. “But I am a hard worker,” the young man objected. “I arrive first, leave last, and have worked through coffee breaks!” The foreman, sensing the boy’s integrity, then asked, “Have you been sharpening your ax?” The young man replied, “I have been working too hard to take the time.”

How about you? Have you been too busy to sharpen your ax? Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I would spend six hours sharpening the ax.”

So how can we sharpen our cutting edge? Carefully explore who God has made you to be. Discover your gifts, talents, strengths and abilities. Then commit to a life-long renewal.

Spiritual renewal happens when we are consistent in our devotion to the Lord through prayer, study, generosity, and the sharing of our faith. Mental renewal occurs when we read, broaden our horizons, and write in a journal. Social renewal is a result of right relationships and the practice of forgiving others, as we have been forgiven.

We must take the time to sharpen the ax so we can stay on the cutting edge of all God wants us to be and do.

QUESTION: Where have you allowed yourself to get dull? How can you “sharpen your ax” today?