11. Take a breather

I received a lovely email about a young man and an elderly man who decided to have a competition. They wanted to see who was going to cut down the most trees in one day. The young man was quite excited about this competition as he was the stronger of the two by far. They started early in the morning and the young man immediately started to cut down the trees with his axe. The elderly man started as well, but after each hour he rested for 15 minutes. The young man noticed it and laughed at him that he needed to rest. But the old man didn't let that deter him, he continued with this routine, he worked for an hour and rested for 15 minutes. This continued throughout the day. And at the end of the day, they each counted the number of trees they chopped down, and to the young man's utter dismay the elderly man won.

He couldn't understand it, he never rested and this old man that did, won. The old man gently walked over to the young man and said: "My dear child, every time I rested I sharpened my axe again. And with a sharp axe you can continue so much faster."

Isn't that so true of our lives? We are living in a fast paced world, everything is getting faster and quicker and more efficient. And somehow we need to 'run' in order to keep up with it all. We never stop for a breather, because we are afraid that if we do, we will get behind the rest, we will miss out. We simply keep our heads down and continue to axe down the trees in front of us.

But don't you think it will be a good idea to stop once in a while and sharpen your axe? That is where I am at the moment. The Lord told me to stop working full time as an accountant and to spend time sharpening my axe and through doing that, grow closer to Him and His wonderful plan for my life. Now I can tell you it wasn't easy to stop. Most people couldn't understand why I stopped working and pertinently showed me how I was going to get behind all the rest in my profession. They told me that no company will ever want me again if I stopped working for too long. They made me feel as if the time I spend sharpening my axe is useless and a total waste of time and that it was more important to keep on going.

But I didn't let that deter me, because I knew that at the end of the day, if I didn't stop, I would most probably still be in the rat race, still be rushing to who knows where and I would never have experienced the liberation of sharpening my axe. It gives one a sense of freedom in knowing that you are on your way, following the Will of God for your life, and that you will get there quicker than you would have if you never stopped. Plus, isn't it much better to be inside the Will of God for your life, than outside of it?

Now I am not saying everyone should stop working. The Lord showed me specifically that I should. The Lord might show you something else, but the bottom line is He simply wants you to take breathers now and again and make time to see clearly where you are heading and where He wants to lead you. He will give you a renewed vision every time and help you on the best pathway for your life. He wants to advise you and watch over you. He wants to sharpen your axe and help you to reach your destination so much quicker.

Psalm 32:8 "The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."

Thank you Lord for watching over us. Thank you that You grant us time to stop and look up to You to see where You want to lead us. Help us to make the time and use it to draw closer to You. In Jesus' name. Amen

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