--By Lois Lang
Ecclesiastes 10:10a...If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he [he who splits logs] must exert more strength.
Solomon was a pretty smart fellow. God really answered his prayer for wisdom! His one-liners hit the mark time after time. Some of his admonitions are God-given revelation, but most seem to be just plain common sense. For example, the truism above--the duller the axe, the harder it is and the more energy it takes to split logs. Doable, but more difficult.
A memory just popped into my head. Please allow me to share it with you. My father was a farmer, who began farming back in the late 1930’s. A lot of the field work was done by hand. When it was time to harvest wheat or corn, he took his large scythe to the fields and started cutting. But he also took a sharpening stone. Every so often he would stop and run the stone along the blade of the scythe to keep it sharp. That made the cutting a lot easier.
The wisdom of Solomon’s advice, as well as the memory of my dad, resonated with me. No, I don’t do much log-splitting or corn-cutting. But it goes beyond axes or scythes or cutting wood or wheat. What I saw in this was that if I stay “sharp,” whatever I’m doing is much easier to do. Sure, I can clean house or cook a meal, but if I am rested and prepared (sharp), those tasks can be done much more easily. I think it works the same way with life. I can muddle my way through day to day even if I’m not sharp. But if I am “sharp”--staying in God’s Word, following His leading, worshipping, fellowshipping with His people, praying--life gets a whole lot easier.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to work any harder than I have to. So it’s time for me to sharpen my axe and keep the honing stone handy.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the wisdom You gave Solomon, who passed it along to us. It’s as real and fresh today as it was when You first inspired it. Thank You for Your Word, which is “living and active and sharper than two-edged sword.” Please help us in our efforts to remain sharp. We pray in the Name of Jesus, the Word Made Flesh. Amen.