I heard one of the greatest allegories at a little rural church in the Ozarks. In the middle of his message, the guest preacher dropped this little story.
Two men were out chopping wood. One was an old man. The other was young and egotistical. He challenged the old man to a race, knowing he was younger and twice as strong. Surprisingly, the old man accepted.
Laughing, the younger man tore into cutting wood as fast as he could. It was powerful to see how hard the young man worked.
The old man chopped steadily, but he would stop every little bit, sit down, and sharpen his ax again. Every time, the young man would laugh at him. The man wouldn’t say a word. He would just sharpen and then get back to work.
By the end of the day, the young man was in for a surprise. The old man had chopped almost twice as much wood as the young man. The young man was furious.
“How in the world did you beat me? I was swinging twice as hard and twice as fast.”
The older man just smiled and sat down to sharpen his ax. He let the young guy stew around for a while. Finally, the young man calmed down and asked him again.
“What did I do wrong?”
“You didn’t do anything wrong. You are the best wood chopper I’ve ever seen. I could never compete with you in strength, but I kept my ax head sharp. You must keep your edge sharp, son. Never lose your edge.”
Wow. The preacher went on to talk about other things, and I’m not quite sure how they tied into the story. But this story hit me so hard. I had to write it down and share it with you guys. What a lesson!
How many of you guys have gotten tired and stopped sharpening your edge? I know I have lately.
This girl’s going to sit down and sharpen that ax. I’m getting my edge back. How about you?