Analogies :: The LumberJack Story
This is the story of a mother who needed to
earn money to support her
family. They needed it badly. She looked around her community and
examined the possibilities. She began to fill out applications everywhere.
None of the jobs paid very well.except one. There was a lumberyard in
town, and the best job was the position of Lumberjack.
No rainy days.
And three times the pay of any other job in town.
Unfortunately for her, there had never been a female lumberjack. As a
matter of fact, lumberjacks weren't just ordinary "men" they were big, burly "Man's-Men".
There seemed to be little hope of her ever getting this job. She filled
out an application anyway, and studied everything about being a lumberjack.
Week after week, she followed up with a phone call or note. She emailed
copies of interesting news stories about the industry to the Human Resources
Manager. Time passed, and she began to be regarded as an inside joke
at the lumberyard. They gave her the nickname "Lumber-Jill." It looked as if
she would never be hired, after all, she wasn't even a big, strong woman, and
she had no experience felling trees.
FINALLY, OPPORTUNITY COMES KNOCKING
Eventually, the lumberyard landed an account which would require double their
production. They needed to increase production quickly. Managers were
called from their desks into the woods, Retirees were called in, but still,
they needed more trees.
At a meeting someone finally suggested, "Why don't we call in "Lumber-Jill?" Everyone
laughed out loud. But desperate times call for desperate measures. They
eventually agreed to hire her on a "trial" basis for 2/3's the pay of a regular
lumberjack. They called her for an interview, and justified her reduced
rate due to her lack of experience. She jumped at the opportunity.
Upon being hired, the HR manager sat her down,
explained the job description and handed her
the employee handbook with the 10 Rules of
being a lumberjack. She was expected
to know these rules and abide by them at all
times, he explained. She agreed.
6:00 a.m. Monday morning, she was dressed and ready with ax in hand before
the gates opened to the woodlands. While the other lumberjacks took breaks,
hung out at the water cooler and sharpened their axes, she worked. She
employed physics, made use of several different styles of axes to increase
At the end of the month, results were tabulated to track production. "Lumber-
Jill" had felled more trees than any other lumberjack! Everyone was speechless. There
was more than a little resentment towards her among the other lumberjacks.she
was making them look bad.
The next month, her production was a little lower, but still among the top
lumberjacks. The following month she was in the middle of the pack. She
decided to request keys to the gates so she could start work earlier. She
even asked for permission to work on Saturdays to increase production. She
went to the gym to build her upper body strength, took mega-vitamins, and did
everything she could think of to produce more. Despite all of her efforts,
her production declined until she was not only the worst lumberjack, but the
worst one in the company's history. The HR manager called her into the
She burst into tears! "I've never been late, goofed off or missed a day's
work! There's no one who works as hard as I do. Just a few months ago
I was your top lumberjack! Give me a chance to come out of this slump." She
exclaimed with emotion and conviction.
There was a large book on the HR manager's
desk. He pointed to it.
"Do you remember this book?" He asked.
"Well sure, it's the employee handbook for lumberjacks." She replied.
"Do you know the 10 rules of being a lumberjack?"
"Yes.and NONE of those rules even mentions production."
"What is rule number 4?"
She referred to the book and looked.she was astonished at what she saw.
Rule 4: "TAKE REGULAR BREAKS AND USE THAT TIME TO SHARPEN YOUR AX."
She realized in an instant that she was in such a hurry to "produce" that she
had neglected to take the MANDATORY breaks and sharpen her ax. She had been
working with a dull ax, and it's nearly impossible to cut down a tree with
one. In violating this command, the very production she was so eager
to achieve suffered. She also became a danger to herself and those around
A SPIRITUAL PRECEDENT
Working Mom, understand this principle. Even the Bible's 10 Commandments
includes a day of rest every week! During this rest, you can
sharpen your thoughts, give your mind, body and spirit the chance to rejuvenate.
Think of the Bible as the "employee handbook" for life.
Consider The 10 commandments as the 10 rules to live by.
The temptation to ignore the 4th commandment when you are already behind
schedule is almost overwhelming. But this is not a suggestion. It is,
technically, a COMMANDMENT. God himself designed you to operate
at optimum efficiency when you take a day every week to rest and worship
Think of it this way. If you went a day without sleep, you'd be tired,
but most likely, you could function. What about two days? Three
days? We all know if we went three days without sleep we would certainly
function at a reduced capacity. (If we could function at all) The human body
simply is not designed to go 72 hours without rest.
The designer of the human body, ( EVEN
YOUR HUMAN BODY ) says you are not designed
to go more than 7 days without rest from
work. As a working mom, you may have
tried to convince yourself that catching
up on laundry, cleaning, bill paying and
shopping on your day of rest is not real
work. But you are mistaken. It may
even be harder work than the job you do for
pay. You might even think that you "HAVE" to
break this commandment.there simply isn't
any other time available. But remember, God
WILL make a way for this commandment to be
How? Start with prayer.
Ask God to help you and forgive you when you push too hard. Next, go to
your children and ask them to forgive you for the times you have required them
to do chores on what should have been a day of rest. Explain to them that from
now on, the family will spend a day to PREPARE for a day of rest. Then
go to your mentors or prayer partners and seek their input on how to do
HERE'S ONE EXAMPLE
My family uses Sunday as a day of rest and worship. I can tell you
honestly, the kids will do their housework without grumbling before bedtime
on Saturday when they know Sunday they won't be required to even fold a sock! The
Lord blesses us with supernatural energy and efficiency which when we are preparing
for a day of rest. It seems that 45 minutes of cleaning in preparation
for rest accomplishes so much more than 45 minutes of cleaning dedicated to "catch-up." This
is just another one of those small miracles we can be thankful for.
As summer approaches, the temptation to burn the candle at both ends will
be tremendous, especially for moms who work both inside and outside the home. Feel
free to tell this story to anyone you think might benefit from the message.
*Clarification from our Working Dads:
We do not wish to give the impression that
resting on the Sabbath can justify someone.
The primary purpose of the Commandments are
to act as a mirror--to show us
that we need God's forgiveness and then send
us to the Savior.
Speaking of the Fourth Commandment as a rule
to live by may leave an unsaved person saying, "Yes,
I've failed to take a Day to rest. I will do
that from now on," and yet leaving
out the Cross and the reality of Judgment Day
will more than likely leave them in their sins, with
the thought that they are now saved because
they are taking one day in seven to rest and
sharpen the axe.
"AS IRON SHARPENS IRON"
Cameron and Ray Comfort of
the hit television series The Way of the
Master have sharpened us at Working
Mom™ tremendously. They've opened
our eyes to the opportunity we have when
we reach thousands of women who don't have
a religious background every month. Workingmom.com
has always helped the Working Mom save time,
energy and money. It's the Lord we serve
who saves the working mom herself! Kirk
and Ray have freely given us content and
advice with a masculine, paternal perspective. The
response to their columns has been unprecedented.
God has richly blessed us with these Working
Dads from Livingwaters and
of the Master .
" You use steel to
sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another." Proverbs
27:17-The Message Bible