Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of a new recruit to the logging crew who set a record on Monday but was fired on Friday.
"But I'm the hardest worker you've got," the young man protested. "I arrive first. I leave last. I even work through my coffee breaks. And no one can swing an ax more times per minute than I can."
The foreman thought for a minute, and then asked "Have you been sharpening your ax?"
The young man replied: "I've been working too hard to take the time."
Is it time for you to sharpen your ax?
The book of Colossians gives us some good insight. St. Paul writes, “For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.” (Colossians 1:9-12)
There are at least three factors to being “filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” The first one is daily Scripture reading. Although study guides for investigating Scripture are good for growing in faith, what we really need to do is simply to immerse ourselves in the Word through everyday reading of the Bible.
The men and women of the Old and New Testaments should not be strangers to us. They are our family. We are related to them in the faith. Daily readings soaked in the stories of our tradition will make for a stronger, fuller, richer faith. We can only remain spiritually renewed by conscientiously feeding and watering the roots of our faith. Scripture remains a miraculous gift of God because it speaks a fresh word from God to us every day.
The second component for growing in wisdom and knowledge of God is daily prayer. Our heavenly Father wants to hear from us every day. Jesus counseled his disciples to be persistent in prayer, to never stop the conversation with God.
Finally, our faith grows as we relate with other Christians. Reading the Word and praying to God are things that we must exercise on our own, but we must also read and pray, praise and grow, in groups. We need that communal contact with faith every day of our lives. Part of our spiritual freshness depends on opening up our hearts and spirits to the insights of other Christians. We need to be spiritually connected to one another.