A young man approached the foreman of a logging crew seeking work. To prove his worth, he stepped forward and skilfully felled a great tree. Impressed the foreman gave him the job and told him to start Monday.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday passed by, but on Thursday afternoon the foreman told the young man to pick up his pay cheque on the way out.

Startled, the young man said he thought that Friday was pay day.  The foreman replied that normally it is, but he had fallen so far behind in his work that they would have to let him go. He said, “You’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last place today.”

The young man objected, “But I’m a hard worker. I arrive first, leave last and have even worked through my coffee breaks!”

The foreman sensed the lad’s integrity, thought for a while, and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your axe?” 

The young man had been so keen to set a rapid pace and do well,
that he had not taken the time to sharpen his axe.


I don’t use an axe, and I guess most of us don’t,
but I wonder how many of us NEED to take time to “sharpen our axe”.

Being busy in the Lord’s work is good.

We are meant to use the talents and gifts He has given us in His service
– but there is a “but.”

If I try to serve in my own strength, I will achieve little, if anything. 

If I serve with a wrong motive, I will achieve nothing. 

If I serve depending on my own abilities,
or just doing the things that please me (or someone else)
I will achieve nothing worthwhile.

PRAYER is the “hone” that gives the sharp edge.

Spending time with the Lord re-energises us, confirms our purpose,
and empowers us for the task.


when you

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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14 Responses to GOING DOWN?

  1. writinggomer says:

    Words to live by, you are a good writer! :)


  2. brakelite says:

    How easy it is to be so involved in going forward helter skelter in ministry, or witnessing or simply life itself and by neglecting prayer we leave Jesus behind.


  3. jelillie says:

    Hi Angela! I was a little down on myself because I was so far behind in my reading. Then I read your post it was almost an exact reiteration of our morning prayer meeting devotional. Suddenly I realized I was right on time in reading your post. Thanks for your timeliness out of time! Evidently today is the day I need to hear this.


  4. Rob Barkman says:


    Thank you for such a great reminder of the power of prayer. Without it, our best efforts of service will miserably fail. May the Lord bless.


  5. Ann says:

    Thank you, Angela
    Thank you for being obedient and sharing this with us. Great analogy. We can try to cut as many trees as we want to, but a blunt axe will take all our energy and we wouldn’t have cut down a single tree.

    Blessings, Minister Angela. I appreciate your voice to me this morning. I will go now … I have an axe to hone.


  6. pbus1 says:

    How true it is, that we can become so busy doing the Lord’s work, that we forget about the LORD of the work! Prayer is definitely the key. Staying in the presence of the Lord through prayer, and keeping our ears to God’s mouth, will keep us sharpened!

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging message with us. May the Lord bless you continuously, and keep you in His loving care!



    • Paulette I have often been in so much of a rush to get something done that the most important thing has been left out. Thankfully, it isn’t long before I am gently reminded “Haven’t you forgotten something?” Isn’t it amazing how everything works out properly after that?
      What an amazing God!


  7. Debbie says:

    Another great analogy and so much wisdom in here! “Prayer is the hone that gives the sharp edge.” wow! Thank you, Angela, and God bless you as you stay sharp for Him!


    • I don’t like the old saying “Prayer changes things” because it isn’t prayer that changes them: it is God, and I tend to think the saying robs Him of the glory.
      On the other hand, the fact is that He CHOOSES to work in answer to our prayers, and it is also true that through prayer we are enabled and empowered.
      Prayer is another gift from an amazing God.


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