If the axe is dull and the user does not sharpen its edge, then he must use more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. Ecclesiastes 10:10
Success involves completing all the steps of a process that lead to the outcome we desire, so that when we finally achieve our goal, we are able to enjoy what we’ve accomplished. In other words, joy is a critical component of success. For example, we can chop down trees with a dull axe, but that will be all we accomplish. If it takes two or three times as long as it might with a sharp axe, and if we’re so exhausted or—worse—disinterested when we finish, then we are not truly successful. The limited success of the first marathon runner was lauded but not copied. Sharpening the axe is an act of faith. We are trusting the Lord’s wisdom that time spent preparing to cut will yield more and better results. We are believing the implication that having energy to enjoy the fruit of our labor is part of his design. We are believing that the God who works smarter rather than harder wants us to imitate him. Continuous preparation of this nature carries over into every area of life: Study on a seat makes it easier to think on our feet. Regularly reviewing the good and attractive qualities of our mates makes it easier to remain faithful when our faithfulness is tested.
O Lord, grant me the humility necessary to admit the need to change what I’m doing, and the foresight to see how advantageous change is.