Thursday, November 15, 2007

Outdoor Devotion - Sharpened

I had a mind to fry some fish. There was a new bag of House Autry breader in the pantry . The dogwoods had starting blooming earlier in the week signifing the start of the crappie bite. Athough the temperature was still in the 50's Spring was in the air and it was a perfect day for fishing.
My boys and I had a seven acre farm pond, a bucket full of minnows, three bobber-laden fishing rods and a beautiful afternoon to fill the creel. And boy did the fish cooperate. Thirty minutes later we had a 5 gallon bucket loaded with crappies. When we got back to the house I pulled out the filet knife and went to work. What a mess. The first two fish looked like an alligator had been using them for chewing gum. The knife was dull as a hammer making the task nearly impossible. I pulled out the sharpener, swiped my Rapala's blade across its flint a couple times and went back to work. The remainder of the crappies went like clockwork and before long our family was dining on fresh fish and singing praises to the chef. What a difference a sharp blade makes.

The outdoors is replete with examples of equipment that need to be sharpened axes, broadheads, chainsaws, fishing hooks, knives to name a few. Honed to a fine point a good blade makes most chores more enjoyable.
The same is true in life. Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another." Rather than a whetstone or grinding wheel people need other people in their lives to keep us sharp. This is particularly true of men. For some reason, we find it more difficult or possibly less important to have deep relationships with other men. Maybe it's a cultural thing to try to be the Lone Ranger and "go it alone". In truth this doesnt mean we're more of a man, it simply means that we're more vunerable. Daily life with its busyness, responsibilities, disappointments, hurts and hardships has a way of dulling us. And we need other folks be it fishing buddies, coworkers, golfing pals, etc. to keep us sharp.
Reminds me of an account in the Gospel of Luke. Chapter 5 tells of Jesus teaching in a house one day. Four guys get together and decide to bring their friend, a paralytic, to Christ for healing. When they arrived at the location where Jesus was there was such a crowd that they couldn't get in. These guys didn't give up but instead pulled the roof apart and lowered their buddy through a hole in the ceiling, playing an integral part in him being healed. In fact, Luke 5:20 states, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." What a great story! What great friends! What a great example for us men! Not only do I want to be a man willing to go the extra mile to bring my friends to the Master, but I am grateful for the guys that God uses to keep me sharp.
For more information about sharpening your knife visit Buck Knife's website here.

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