花時間「把鋸子磨利」

By: Robert J. Tamasy

史蒂芬.柯維所著「高效能人士的七個習慣」一書中說,第七個習慣是「把鋸子磨利」。這意思是從工作中停下來讓自己有機會在生活的四個層面裡經歷更新:身體、心智、社交-情緒、和靈性。

為了說明這個原則,柯維談到有一個人在樹林中散步時聽到鋸木的聲音。這個大自然的愛好者就過去察看,他看到一個人滿頭大汗地想把一棵大樹砍倒。

「你在做什麼?」旁觀者問道。
「我要砍倒這棵樹。難道你看不出來嗎?」
「不,我的意思是,你看起來很費力。你已鋸了多久了?」
「兩小時。」
「你為何不花點時間去把那鋸子磨利一點?那會使你鋸起來更快且更容易。」
「我沒時間去磨--我要趕快把這棵樹砍倒!」

聖經舊約也用這個比喻教導我們如何更有效能:「鐵器鈍了,若不將刃磨快,就必多費氣力;但得智慧指教,便有益處」(傳道書10章10節)。

有許多方式可以「把刀刃磨利」:接受更多訓練,回到學校去獲得有關你工作的更多知識,讀有益的書籍。有一個註釋書說:「想要做任何事卻沒有所需的技巧和工具,就像用一個鈍的斧頭砍木塊一樣。若你缺乏技能或工具去做事,就要透過受訓和練習使你的鋸子變利。」

有一種「磨利」的方法特別有效,但我們許多人卻不願做,那就是:休息。「我沒有時間」我們常常這麼告訴自己--以及別人(若他們問時)。「有太多事需要做,當我做完後,我就會休息。」

但就如有人曾說:「我愈趕,卻愈落後!」有時當我們更努力且更快速地做事,同時是消耗我們的體力、智力、情緒或靈性,反而減少我們努力的成果。休息一下--短暫的休息、小睡一下、請一天假、甚至去度個假--反而可以恢復精力、更新靈命,且重新變得樂觀。

有些人相信聖經裡的上帝要求我們行動,但聖經也教導休息的重要性。關於創造,聖經說「到第七日,神造物的工已經完畢,就在第七日歇了他一切的工,安息了」(創世記2章2節)。「因為六日之內,耶和華造天、地、海,和其中的萬物,第七日便安息」(出埃及記20章11節)。

十誡中的一條是:「當記念安息日,守為聖日」(出埃及記20章8節)。但那並不是一種限制,因為後來耶穌說:「安息日是為人設立的,人不是為安息日設立的」(馬可福音2章27節)。對上帝而言,休息不但很好--對於有果效的生活也是必需的。

當耶穌在世上,我們看到祂--雖然許多人來找祂--祂還是常常離開群眾去「磨利鋸子」。彼得前書2章21節說:「因基督也為你們受過苦,給你們留下榜樣,叫你們跟隨他的腳蹤行」。所以我們可以合理推論,得到充足的休息也是「跟隨祂腳蹤」的一種方式。

你的鋸子有多利?

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的交通部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有38年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace)。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心:啟發人們將其潛能發揮到極至的10個原則」(The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com 。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否聽過一個人忙著砍樹而沒時間去磨鋸子的故事?你是否曾經有類似的經驗? 當我們聽到「磨利鋸子」,常會想到接受更多訓練、更多教育、或花時間去練習技巧。但你是否察覺工作表現和休息的相互關係?請解釋。 你認為一個人如何能得到足夠的休息,而不被認為是懶惰? 你對聖經要求我們守安息日有何看法?你如何看待這條誡命--是限制和不必要的約束,或是一種非常有益的治療,或是介於兩者之間?
註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
詩篇37篇7、34節,46篇10節,127篇2節;箴言19章23節,24章30-34節;馬太福音14章22-33節;馬可福音6章31節

TAKE TIME TO “SHARPEN YOUR SAW”
By: Robert J. Tamasy

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey calls the seventh habit, “Sharpen the Saw.” Essentially, this means pausing from production efforts and giving yourself an opportunity to experience personal renewal in one or more of the four key dimensions of your life: Physical, mental, social-emotional, and spiritual.

To illustrate this principle, Covey tells about a man strolling through the woods when he hears a sawing noise. Investigating, the nature-lover sees a man perspiring profusely as he attempts to cut down a large tree.

“What are you doing?” the observer asks. “I”m cutting down this tree, can”t you see?” is the response.
"No, I mean, it looks like you have been working hard. How long have you been doing this?" "Two hours."
"Why don’t you take some time to sharpen the saw? It will make things go much faster and easier."
"I don’t have time to do that – I have to get this tree cut down!"

The Bible”s Old Testament uses this analogy as well to show how we can become more effective: "Since a dull ax requires great strength, sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed" (Ecclesiastes 10:10, New Living Translation).

There are many ways to “sharpen the blade”: Getting additional training. Returning to school and acquire more knowledge about your work. Reading helpful books. One commentary states: "Trying to do anything without the necessary skills or tools is like chopping wood with a dull ax. If you lack skills or tools to do the job, sharpen them through training and practice."

One method for “sharpening” is particularly beneficial, but many of us are reluctant to implement it: Rest. “I don”t have time,” we tell ourselves – and others if they ask. “There is just too much to do. I will rest after I finish.”

Yet as someone has said, “The more I hurry, the more I fall behind!” Sometimes working harder and faster, when depleted physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, actually diminishes results of our effort. Taking a rest – a short break, a brief nap, a day off, even a vacation – can restore energy, renew spirits, and revive optimism.

Some people believe the God of the Bible continually demands activity, but the Scriptures teach much about the importance of rest. About the Creation it states, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:2). “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11).

One of the 10 commandments is “Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8). But that is not intended as a restriction, because later Jesus declared, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). To God, rest is not only good – it is necessary for fruitful, productive living.

In the accounts of Jesus” time on earth, we see Him – despite crushing demands – often breaking away from the crowd to “sharpen the saw.” In 1 Peter 2:21 we are told, “…Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” It would see reasonable to conclude that making certain to get sufficient rest would be one way of “following in His steps.”

How sharp is your saw?

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press) and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

Had you heard the story about the man who was too busy trying to cut down a tree to pause long enough to sharpen his saw? Have you ever had an experience similar to that? When thinking in terms of “sharpening the saw,” it”s common to think about things like additional training, getting more education or taking time to practice skills. But do you usually recognize the correlation between performance and rest? Explain your answer. How do you think a person can achieve sufficient rest without being perceived as lazy or unmotivated? What is your reaction to the biblical commandment to keep the Sabbath? How do you view this command – as restrictive and unnecessarily limiting, as therapeutic and very beneficial, or somewhere in between?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Psalm 37:7,34, 46:10, 127:2; Proverbs 19:23, 24:30-34; Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:31

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