One sunny day, a father and his son are on their way to cut some wood in the forest. Along the way, the young man challenged his father about who among the two of them can chop more wood at the end of the day.
The father accepted his son’s challenge with a good intention of teaching his son a very important life lesson. So both the father and son took up their positions in a different part of the forest and started chopping away, and the forest was filled with wood chopping noise. After an hour, the son noticed that there was no chopping sound from his father’s side, so he thought: “Hmmm.. my father must be tired already!” And the son continued to cut down his trees with double the pace. Several minutes had passed, the young man heard his father chopping again. So the forest was filled with their wood chopping noise once more.
The young man was starting to feel tired when the chopping from his father’s side of the forest stopped once again. Feeling motivated and smelling victory close by, the son continued on, with a smile on his face. This went on the whole day. Every hour, the father would stop chopping for several minutes while the son kept going relentlessly.
When the sun starts to set, the young man was absolutely confident that he would take the triumph. But to the young man’s astonishment, his father had actually cut down much more wood than him.
The son cannot believe what happened. So the son asked his father, “How could you have chopped down more woods than me? I heard you stop working every hour for several minutes!” His old father replied, “Well my son, it’s really simple. Every time you hear me stopped, while you were still chopping down trees, I was sharpening my axe.”
This story illustrates how most people live their lives. Many of us are always busy and almost always occupied with so many things. Our schedules are full of activities that we don’t even have time to breathe. Most of us are working hard to achieve something that we often fail to take the necessary time to renew themselves, to learn and grow— to sharpen our gift.
It has been said that there are three main things that employers look for in determining who stays in the company. They look for those with positive attitudes, flexibility, and the desire to keep learning and improving. People who continue to sharpen their skills always remain a commodity, and those who don’t are always left behind.
GOD is always looking for people who are prepared and taking steps to improve themselves. He is looking for those who are serious about fulfilling their destinies through their GOD-given talents.
Don’t be too complacent. Whether you are a teacher, a lawyer, a carpenter, a banker, or a doctor, or a simple housewife, don’t settle where you are. Stir up the gift that GOD has put in your heart and get better at it.
This year is the year to Sharpen your Gift.