By: Robert J. Tamasy
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的交通部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有38年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業：箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」（Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace）。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心：啟發人們將其潛能發揮到極至的10個原則」（The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential）。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。
思想 / 討論題目
你是否聽過一個人忙著砍樹而沒時間去磨鋸子的故事？你是否曾經有類似的經驗？ 當我們聽到「磨利鋸子」，常會想到接受更多訓練、更多教育、或花時間去練習技巧。但你是否察覺工作表現和休息的相互關係？請解釋。 你認為一個人如何能得到足夠的休息，而不被認為是懶惰？ 你對聖經要求我們守安息日有何看法？你如何看待這條誡命－－是限制和不必要的約束，或是一種非常有益的治療，或是介於兩者之間？
TAKE TIME TO “SHARPEN YOUR SAW”
By: Robert J. Tamasy
In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey calls the seventh habit, “Sharpen the Saw.” Essentially, this means pausing from production efforts and giving yourself an opportunity to experience personal renewal in one or more of the four key dimensions of your life: Physical, mental, social-emotional, and spiritual.
To illustrate this principle, Covey tells about a man strolling through the woods when he hears a sawing noise. Investigating, the nature-lover sees a man perspiring profusely as he attempts to cut down a large tree.
“What are you doing?” the observer asks. “I”m cutting down this tree, can”t you see?” is the response.
"No, I mean, it looks like you have been working hard. How long have you been doing this?" "Two hours."
"Why don’t you take some time to sharpen the saw? It will make things go much faster and easier."
"I don’t have time to do that – I have to get this tree cut down!"
The Bible”s Old Testament uses this analogy as well to show how we can become more effective: "Since a dull ax requires great strength, sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed" (Ecclesiastes 10:10, New Living Translation).
There are many ways to “sharpen the blade”: Getting additional training. Returning to school and acquire more knowledge about your work. Reading helpful books. One commentary states: "Trying to do anything without the necessary skills or tools is like chopping wood with a dull ax. If you lack skills or tools to do the job, sharpen them through training and practice."
One method for “sharpening” is particularly beneficial, but many of us are reluctant to implement it: Rest. “I don”t have time,” we tell ourselves – and others if they ask. “There is just too much to do. I will rest after I finish.”
Yet as someone has said, “The more I hurry, the more I fall behind!” Sometimes working harder and faster, when depleted physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, actually diminishes results of our effort. Taking a rest – a short break, a brief nap, a day off, even a vacation – can restore energy, renew spirits, and revive optimism.
Some people believe the God of the Bible continually demands activity, but the Scriptures teach much about the importance of rest. About the Creation it states, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:2). “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11).
One of the 10 commandments is “Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8). But that is not intended as a restriction, because later Jesus declared, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). To God, rest is not only good – it is necessary for fruitful, productive living.
In the accounts of Jesus” time on earth, we see Him – despite crushing demands – often breaking away from the crowd to “sharpen the saw.” In 1 Peter 2:21 we are told, “…Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” It would see reasonable to conclude that making certain to get sufficient rest would be one way of “following in His steps.”
How sharp is your saw?
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press) and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
Had you heard the story about the man who was too busy trying to cut down a tree to pause long enough to sharpen his saw? Have you ever had an experience similar to that? When thinking in terms of “sharpening the saw,” it”s common to think about things like additional training, getting more education or taking time to practice skills. But do you usually recognize the correlation between performance and rest? Explain your answer. How do you think a person can achieve sufficient rest without being perceived as lazy or unmotivated? What is your reaction to the biblical commandment to keep the Sabbath? How do you view this command – as restrictive and unnecessarily limiting, as therapeutic and very beneficial, or somewhere in between?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Psalm 37:7,34, 46:10, 127:2; Proverbs 19:23, 24:30-34; Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:31