One man challenged another man to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day.
At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. “I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.”
“But you didn’t notice,” said the winning woodsman, “that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.” That is what Jesus does with his apostles in today’s Gospel (Mark 6:30-34). Jesus says to them, “Come apart into a desert place, and rest a little. For there were many coming and going and they had not so much as time to eat. And going up into a ship, they went into a desert place apart.”
We live in a world that equates busyness with success and constant activity with virtue. We bring our laptops and our smart phones on vacation. And we put in more hours at work today than we did ten or twenty years ago. Our national motto seems to be, “There is never enough time.” We need to listen to the words of Jesus and make time to sharpen our ax.
Carefully consider how YOU would like to be remembered at YOUR funeral eulogy. In so doing YOU will discover YOUR definition of success.
DEAR GOD, IF TODAY I LOSE HOPE, PLEASE REMIND ME THAT YOUR PLANS ARE BETTER THAN MY DREAMS!