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Lessons for Life – Parable of the Woodsman


SAVHS Lessons for Life allow our athletes an opportunity to look at athletics in a different light.  Each week a new lesson is introduced to our athletes to promote the development of the whole athlete – in the present and the future.

Parable of the Woodsman

Way up north there was once a woodsman who went into the forest to harvest wood to sell.  He was very strong and on the first day in the woods he was able to fell 18 trees to bring to the timber merchant.

“You are the best woodcutter around,” the merchant said and gave him his pay.

The second day, the woodcutter went into the woods with great motivation to begin his work and harvest even more trees.  But by midday he had only taken down eight trees.  He worked through lunch and didn’t take any breaks.  All told, he had only 15 trees to sell to the merchant.

“Well, you are still a strong woodsman, here is your pay” the merchant said.

The third day he began chopping at first light, continued through lunch and into dusk.  He tried even harder than the first two days, however he only cut down 12 trees.  Day after day he was bringing back fewer and fewer trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the wood merchant and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe,” said the woodsman. “I put all my time into chopping down trees.”

– – – –

Abraham Lincoln once said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” 

Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen our “axe.”


[Ask]  What does it mean to sharpen your axe?  Why is it so important to keep your axe sharp?
How can we make time in our busy lives to make sure our axe is sharp?


What can we do to sharpen our axe a. in school, b. as athletes, and c. in life? 

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