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Not As Sharp As I Used To Be

Life is continually dynamic.  It never stops.  It gives few warnings of imminent dangers that buffet us. The expectations do not diminish.  No matter how much we delegate, there are many other obligations waiting to fill those slots vacated by assigning tasks elsewhere.  For most people I know, they are working longer days, spending time in the evenings and on weekends answering messages, and trying on Saturday and Sunday to squeeze in family time, rec time, church, and hopefully, some time with friends before Monday.

We are good at staying busy.  We are not accomplished at truly resting one day a week. In God’s design, every seventh day was to be a “Sabbath” …. a full rest from any work.  Scripture states that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”  The days of creation were recorded so that we would see God’s good intention for us to rest one day out of seven.  The secular culture is set up on seven-day weeks.  Most people work 5-6 of those days with at least one day off.  And, in today’s culture, the day of rest may involve lots of things, but most often in the 21st century, only a small minority of people use it as a day of worship.

Resting on the LORD’S day enables us to be refreshed in our spirit.  When we meet with God’s people in God’s presence, our hearts are renewed by singing, praying, and studying the Word of God together.  Resting allows our minds and bodies time to recover from a full week previously and to prepare for the week ahead.  And, resting enables us to review what was really “good” about the week just lived in the same way God reviewed each day of Creation and said, “It was good.”  Failure to rest can lead to fatigue, discouragement, and disillusionment because there is never a break from the demands.  Rest does not appear to have a measurable benefit that one can list on the ledger as an “accomplishment”, but the benefits from rest surely are magnificent.

Some years ago, a young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. “That depends,” replied the foreman. “Let’s see you fell this tree.”

The young man stepped forward and skillfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, “Start Monday!”

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, “You can pick up your paycheck on the way out today.”

Startled, he replied, “I thought you paid on Friday.”

“Normally we do,” answered the foreman, “but we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday.”

“But I’m a hard worker,” the young man objected. “I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!”

The foreman, sensing the boy’s integrity, thought for a minute and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your ax?” The young man replied, “I’ve been working too hard to take the time.”  (Copied).