Sharpen the Saw

“Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.” Ecclesiastes 10:10 NLT

This past Saturday, 3.12.11, I had a chance to apply Steven Covey’s 7th habit of his Best Seller Book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (1989). But this “habit” wasn’t a new term or concept that was practiced by highly successful people.  It goes back to when one the greatest leaders in the world practiced it during his time on earth.  Jesus Christ sharpened his Spiritual Saw through the spiritual discipline, Silence and Solitude.

Right in between two of the greatest miracles, 1) the Feeding of the 5,000 and 2) Jesus Walking on Water, there is an obscure verse that fits snug in between these supernatural events, Mark 6:46, “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.” WHAT?!

At the height of his popularity and influence to the Jewish people, Jesus commanded his disciples to get in the boat and leave the crowd, while he escaped to a serene mountain peak to be alone and commune with his Father.  WHY?  Through the discipline (habit) of Silence and Solitude, Jesus was able to recharge and sharpen his saw — he needed to be with his Father.  Whether “guidance”, “wisdom”, “realigning”, “attuning”, or even “rejoicing”, Jesus escaped from the calamity of the crowd, critics, and even his co-laborers to refocus himself to the Vision and Mission of his life ministry through the Father’s design.

It is recommended that leaders do this twice a year – getaway for a 48 hour period to practice being comfortable in the comfort of His Maker.  “As I life my eyes up, up to the mountains; where does my help come from?” (Ps 121)

My trip to Griffith Park was an eye/heart-opening experience for myself as I needed to get away.  Initially, set for early February,this was long overdue.   I needed silence and solitude to clear open space for the Maker to make his presence known in my life.  I needed clarity and discernment of what he has in store for me as I go about my 2011 planning.  So much has been compiling, I wished that I could have peace with where he ultimately wanted me to invest on.

I recommend all of you to do this.  The great Book described how Jesus did it frequently.  Steven Covey observed how highly successful people did it.  Then why are you waiting?  Clear open space and let the Maker polish his creation, so that you can be refreshed and clear of your focus during this season.


Notes: Covey writes in his summary of this chapter –

Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities:
Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting
Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others
Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching
Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service

As you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you create growth and change in your life. Sharpen the Saw keeps you fresh so you can continue to practice the other six habits. You increase your capacity to produce and handle the challenges around you. Without this renewal, the body becomes weak, the mind mechanical, the emotions raw, the spirit insensitive, and the person selfish.


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About Kevin Nguyen

I am a Vietnamese-Texan Who doesn’t love both Pho and BBQ? And this is where I shall start… Introductions to Kevin Nguyen. Let me go ahead and introduce myself as best I can. My “Called” Name (what you go by): Legal name: Anh-Khoa Nguyen. Nickname: Kevin. Personal family name: Khoa (qua) Nationality: Vietnamese-Texan Kevin was picked up when I was trying to order pizza from Pizza Hut while in Texas. The guy asked how to spell my name. I mean, how hard is it to spell “K – H – O – A”, right? Those are not hard letters to hear over the phone. After several attempts – I couldn’t take it anymore — “Dude, my name is Kevin”. Finally, I can have my pizza. READ MORE here...

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