This past week was our spring break, and while it was no “break”, meaning it was as hectic as ever, there was time to get away. Today, returning to the up-early-workout-drop-kids-at-school-fight-traffic grind, I’m reminded of this story, which you may have heard:
Once upon a time there were two men who lived in the same forest and decided to have a contest chopping wood. The first man was in good physical shape and very muscular. The second man was in good shape but smaller in statute and wiry. They would chop wood all day and at the end of the day compare to see who had chopped the most wood. The first man laughed to himself that there was no way this wiry little man would beat him and so they began the contest. Every 45 minutes the second smaller man would take a break and seems to just wonder off somewhere. The first man laughed again to himself and said “Yep there’s no way this wiry little man is going to beat me.” This happens several times during the day. At the end of the day the two men compare their piles of chopped wood and unbelievably enough the wiry little man has chopped twice as much wood as the more physically fit man. He says “I don’t understand. First I’m twice your size and twice your strength! On top of that every 45 minutes you rolled off and took a break or a nap or something. You must have cheated!” The smaller man says “I don’t cheat. It was easy to beat you because every 45 minutes when you thought I was taking a break, I was out back sharpening my ax.”
Part of our spring break was spent at the beach. The water was closer to 70 degrees than 80, so when my feet went numb as I dipped my toes in, I decided to stand on the beach and watch my 11-year-olds frolic like it was the tropics. That gave me an hour to just watch them, look out over the Atlantic, and think.
Then Friday evening & Saturday morning were spent in the woods, cooking (and eating!!) lots of BBQ, and sleeping under the stars with a group of men from Men’s Fraternity Atlanta. As I slept – literally under the stars…no tent – I had time to just think, look at where I was, and where I had come since the previous Men’s Fraternity camp out. I hadn’t hit me until that moment at about 1am in 40 degree cloudless weather that a little over a year ago, I had camped in that same spot under the same trees wondering how my previous business was going to survive that week’s catastrophe. We did survive it, in fact came out FAR ahead of where we were when the catastrophe began, and we were acquired just a few short months later.
The hour at the beach, and the hours under the stars were my time to sharpen my axe. As I hit it hard this week pushing the launch of deductmor, I am refreshed, and reminded that I am very blessed indeed.
We must sharpen our axes, or we will come to think that we can out-muscle our weak-looking competitors by brute strength alone. How do you refresh, recharge, sharpen your axe?