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A Parable On Rest

Once upon a time there were two lumberjacks who competed to see who could cut down the most trees.  The first lumberjack, an older man, was known to be the most skilled and productive woodcutter in the area.   The second lumberjack was younger, but eager to prove that he could out-chop his older counterpart.  They decided to cut down as many trees as possible in twelve hours, and whoever had the highest tree count at the end would be declared the winner.

The contest started and they both began chopping down trees.  The younger man went nonstop, incredibly anxious to win.  From across the forest, he noticed the old man would chop for only forty-five minutes; then for the final fifteen minutes of each hour, he would sit down.

“If he keeps stopping, I’ll definitely win”, thought the junior lumberjack.  

At the end of the twelve hours, the younger woodcutter was shocked to discover that, despite his frequent rests, the older man won by quite a bit.

“How is that possible?” the younger man asked the older. “You took so many breaks!”

“My boy, I wasn’t taking a break for those fifteen minutes,” explained the older man. “I was sharpening my ax.”


Paraphrase from Adulting for Jesus by Kristin Weber

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