Sharpen the Ax

July 17, 2023

“Be ready and keep ready…..”
– Ezekiel 38:7 (ESV)

Details, little things, how often we skip over them to get on with the job at hand. Abraham Lincoln, our nation’s 16th President, is known for his wisdom and wit. He is quoted as having said, “If you have been given six hours to chop down a tree, spend four hours sharping the ax.” How many times have we been so focused on the task, that we fail to take the time to prepare? As I prepare for another season as a middle school line coach, I find myself going back to the small things, the details of playing the position. The first task my linemen learn is how to get into a proper stance. There are seven steps we cover.  Everything we do is built off of that seemingly small detail. Firing off the ball, knowing who to block and how to block will not be covered until my players know how to get into the proper stance. When they get into the heat of a game, I want the proper stance to be something they do without even thinking about it. I want their ax to be sharp before they have to use it.

I am always convicted when I hear small children quoting Bible verses. This is because I personally struggle with memorization. I am also very aware of the reason for my struggle. I simply do not put in the time and effort to make memorization of Scripture a priority. I easily convince myself that I can always find the necessary verse in my Bible or do a quick Goggle search on my mobile device. While that’s true, I also realize that my inability to quote the proper verse at the proper time can be like carrying a dull ax into battle. The time to sharpen the ax is before you need it! There simply is not enough time to sharpen the ax after the fighting has begun. Do you think of memorizing Scripture as a little thing? Is it simply an exercise for small children in Sunday School? Much like a lineman getting into the proper stance, think of memorizing God’s Word as the foundation on which you build and grow your faith. Keep your ax sharp!

Heavenly Father, thank You for the truth spoken through Your Word. Help me to pay attention to the things that seem to be small. Teach me always keep my ax sharp and ready for battle! 

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