Tending Your Edges (3 of 3)

Knives are in the right drawer

Knives are in the right drawer

As a human being created in the image of God (who rested on the seventh day, you will recall), we must have time to refuel, recharge, renew, and relax or we will become dull.

We must have quiet time to ponder, listen, consider, and adjust.

This is in addition to the concerted time we need to digest fresh input. In other words, it isn’t enough to get quiet and read. We also need to be quiet and contemplate what we read.

Abusing this principle is dangerous, and here’s why: If you stop running your life and your life starts running you with its constant demands, your soul’s vision shrinks even though you are running hard through life. If your head is down running as hard as you can to keep up, all you see is the ground. Being too busy to stop and envision means your world shrinks and your reason for existing gets small, repetitive, and uninteresting—and this is how burnout occurs.

A person doesn’t burn out because of a large, demanding job. A person burns out because of a small job.

We were created to interface with God. This vision of our humanity is big, compelling, and it demands from us our best. Anything that diminishes this vision makes us smaller as people.

Reducing life to fifteen minutes here and there, errands on demand, meals on the run, and multiple nights of obligations while multi-tasking further reduces us. At the end of the day, if we have merely run from here to there thinking we are accomplishing something important, we have in reality shrunk our vision to checking our to-do list, texts, email, and whatever else is screaming for our attention.

Being in demand makes you busy. It doesn’t make you important, and it unequivocally compromises your ability to consistently care for your heart and soul. This renders a dull edge.

A person can be as busy as a one-armed paper hanger and their soul can still burn out. Being sharp, focused, and alive isn’t predicated upon how busy you are, but on how expansive your vision is. You can’t see a vision unless you stop, look up, consider, renew, retool, and rejuvenate on a regular basis.

Bottom line: Failing to take personal time to manage your heart and soul is essential. Failure to do so will leave you dull.

Two things to remember: a) Once an edge has been dulled it is difficult to restore. Said another way, once a person burns out, reigniting the fire is a dicey proposition. b) There isn't any tool quite as dangerous as a tool with a dull edge. In order to be a safe and effective person for your spouse, your kids, your associates, etc., you must tend your soul’s edge with consistency, dedication, and thoughtfulness.

I learned several major lessons from my little silver hatchet. First, it goes easier on left hands if they get to work above the blade. Second, a cheap edge is a poor buy. Even more valuable, though, is the emphasis made in my mind about the necessity of keeping myself sharp.

A dull human is a tough character to put an edge on. A dull follower of Jesus Christ is also a tough character to put an edge on, and truth be told, there might not be anyone more dangerous than a dull Christian.

Christ came in order that we might, through his death, have an edge put on us; an edge of hope, meaning, and life as those regenerated by the grace of God and called as His own. Further, He blessed us with the Spirit to temper and maintain the edge. God set the tempo for us by demonstrating that even in His divinity He took time to rest. What’s good for Him has to be good for you and me.

When you think about it, now is a great time for touching up our edges.