Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sharpened by the Grind: Part 1

My dad loved pocket knives. He could put a razor’s edge on the blade of his knife with the precision of a master. I knew the blade was sharp when he would confidently roll up the sleeve of his shirt and shave a patch of hair off his arm. With a pleased look on his face he would say, “That should do it.” Even though I watched him numerous times, I could take the same knife and whit rock and quickly put a dull edge on the blade. No use to roll up my sleeve- no hair would be in danger. How could he place the grind of metal and rock together and always sharpen the blade? But as for me, I would always grind it dull. 

This analogy makes me wonder, how do you stay at the grind of ministry day after day and have it sharpen you rather than dull you? 

I served as the senior pastor of a church for over forty years and had the opportunity of seeing the ministry grow from slightly over one hundred in attendance to around four thousand on the weekend. That was a long grind! However, there was a time that I did not do any better at the grind of ministry than I did with sharpening a knife. As our church was booming with growth, I was also being stretched too thin. During one of my talks I realized that I could not continue. I walked off the stage in the middle of my message and a friend drove me home because I was a complete basket case. I had allowed the grind to finally bring me to a complete and dull halt. I was not aware of my dull condition until it ended in a deep, debilitating, depression.

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