Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2017.09.24


September 24 – September 30




Scripture Passage:  “If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.”    Ecclesiastes 10:10


Dear Friends,


     I remember being told on more than one occasion to work smarter, not harder.  When you are young, you pride yourself on being strong and tough.  I loved the fact that I was known as a
“hard worker.”  At one time, I never concerned myself with the number of hours required to complete a task or the amount of strength and endurance it demanded.  Lifting, tugging, and pulling was my workout since I did not go to a gym.  No one, could out work me.  On more than one occasion, my old farmer friends would say that I was the best work hand they ever had.  All of this remained true until I reached the age of forty and then everything began to change.  I began to tire more easily and often felt “winded” from times of physical exertion.  Despite this, I continued to do the same amount of work allowing more time to complete the task.  Now I pick a day, or afternoon, and plan to do ONE task.  I often call in one of the children or Patty for re-enforcement.  Oh how the mighty have fallen. 


     This reminds me of a story.  I cannot remember where I heard it or even if I will get all the details straight.  I am telling it from memory and will have to fill in the blanks as I go.  It may not be exact, but the moral of the story will remain the same.  Two wood cutters were offered the same job and given a week to prove their abilities.  One was an old man with years of experience, the other a young man filled with brute strength and vitality.  (Daddy would say he was full of vinegar.)  They were to chop down trees each day and at the end of the week, the one with the most trees would win the job.  The young man started out and at the end of the day had chopped down ten trees.  The old man had chopped down five.  The second day the young man had chopped down eight trees and the old man had chopped down five.  The third day the young man had chopped down five trees and the old man five.  The fourth day the young man had chopped down three trees and the old man five. By the fifth day the young man could only chop down one tree no matter how hard he worked.  He was frustrated by the fact that he would often see the old man sitting down in the shade of a tree watching him work.  At the rate both were going, by the end of the sixth day the old man would surpass the young man with amount of trees chopped and would win the job.  The young man stomped over to where the old man was sitting and demanded an answer.  “I work harder than you every day and never sit down to rest in the shade.  By this time tomorrow evening you are going to beat me and I want to know how you did it.”  The old man smiled.  “Son, you do not understand.  Every time I took time to rest and cool off in the shade, I also sharpened my ax.” 


     If I have learned anything in the past ten years, it is to take time to sharpen my ax.  I sit in the shade more than I ever have in my life.  My family still says I work all the time, but even they notice the change that has come with the years.  I go to bed earlier and sleep more hours than I ever have.  Saturday evenings are guarded against providing time for me to sharpen my ax before preaching three times on Sunday.  Sunday afternoon requires a little “nappy nap” to put a sharp edge back on the ax before Sunday night’s service.  If I have a meeting or service to attend on a week night, I take time to rest after I get off work before I leave for the meeting.  It is not an option, it is a necessity.  So as you live your life today and are faced with daunting task and complicated demands, take a little time to sit in the shade and sharpen your ax.  You are not wasting time, you are working smarter. 


In Christ,



Pastor Johnny