An Axe To Grind

If the axe is dull and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.
Ecclesiastes 10:10

There is a lot of power in this simple little observation. When you hear it, you think “Well that’s pretty obvious!” yet it is amazing how often I will keep on chopping with a blunt axe, apparently more willing to invest more and more energy into each blow for less and less result, rather than simply taking a few moments out to sharpen it.

This applies to many things in life, but perhaps most especially to one’s spiritual life. How many people persevere unthinkingly with an unfruitful spiritual activity – with empty prayers, for example, or disasterous ways of dealing with others – and never think to stop and sharpen the axe?

Ten minutes to think and pray about praying could make the world of difference for all the hours of praying I have yet to do in my life! Ten minutes of analyzing what I did wrong, that so upset someone today, could save me dozens of lost hours trying to solve similar future problems, as well as saving both of us the horrible negative feelings that go beside these disputes.

I often desire the sharpness of my axe that will smoothly and effortlessly cut through the red tape of life. Yet far less often do I trouble to stop what I’m doing and walk over to the sharpening wheel.

Fr Ant

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3 Replies to “An Axe To Grind”

  1. I read this early this afternoon…you weren’t kidding about its power…

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  2. hi abouna. its tru and one begins 2 realise this concept in life. if i have discovered this concept the hard way(trying millions of ways 2 study 4 the hsc without actually planning or planning without studying)

    but its all good, may the lord give us always a sharp axe or the ability to grind well. just a question abouna that recently stirred up some dispute in our household,is cinema a good or bad place to go to and does the church have an explicit ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this concept.tony u may add feedback as well since u always comment. thanku abouna 4 all your troubles again with us and me particularly.may God bless you.

    checkout abouna mina nematalla praying ‘jenainan’ at http://stbishoy.org.au/modules/debaser/genre.php?genreid=5

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  3. Hi Abraam. In 1 Corinthians it says, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful, but not all things build up”. That is the key to the question: What effect does the whole experience of going to the cinema have on me and those around me?

    One can be deeply moved to become a better person by watching a well made film. On the other hand, one can be tempted to a variety of sins. Which it is depends on the person’s personality, the nature of the movie, and who I watch it with, and probably a host of other factors.

    So the short answer is: Is going to the cinema good for my spirit? At the least, will harm my spirit? If you cannot honestly and confidently answer ‘no’ to that last question, don’t go. Otherwise, go and take Jesus with you đŸ™‚

    Fr Ant

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