Friday, December 28, 2012

Sharpening the Knife...

As I was preparing mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner I found that my trusty Buck "Silver Creek" Filet Knife was struggling to cut the potatoes needed for my dish.  Two things crossed my mind: 1. Dang this knife is too dull to cut through potatoes...sorry knife.  2. Dang this knife has been through a lot (the skinning and butchering of multiple deer, wild hogs and other assorted game, TONS of vegetable chopping, and a few other miscellaneous chores that I could conger up during its life span and I let it become dull due to my neglect.

A few Christmases ago I received a Lansky Knife Sharpening Kit so I could theoretically keep my hunting knives sharp and ready (I guess you can see how well I've done in practice).  I busted out the kit on the 26th and went to sharpening my knife.  The kit is designed to start out using a very course stone that begins that process of sanding down the blade and imperfections it may have.  You progressively move towards a very smooth stones that, lacking for better words, polishes the blade making it razor sharp.  It took me an hour or so before the blade was restored to factory sharpness.  I can now, set the knife on a potato and, after applying the weight of my hand, slice the potato in two pieces.

As I meticulously rubbed the various stones on the knife blade in the required "W" formation, I had plenty of time to think.  There are very few things that I have respect for more than a sharp knife.  I take for granted the art a knife can create (delicious cuts of food, a wood carving, etc) and the chaos it can generate (bloody fingers or even death).  The majority of a knife's life is spent sitting in a drawer waiting to be used, however a knife's job is to cut and cut well.  When it doesn't cut, and cut well, it is useless; simply a piece of stainless steel with a handle.    If I would have taken the time and energy to sharpen my knife on a semi-regular basis, I would have never had to struggle through cutting something as easy as a potato.  I allowed the knife to become useless.  This made me think about the great quote by President Lincoln, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”

I am currently in the process, as I have been for the past 2 months, of structuring my goals for 2013.  These goals are an opportunity for me to sharpen myself.  All the goals that I have are very un-glorious and lack spunk and excitement.  However, I feel confident that if I can conquer the specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely (SMART) goals I have set, my knife will be sharp and ready for use.

The sharpening part is dull, meticulous, and often times boring, but when the time comes for use, it will be well worth it!

My 2013 Goals broken down into categories (I'll update, add, and modify):


  • I will read the Gospels in their entirety at least 3 times by the end of 2013 striving to learn more about Jesus Christ's life, ministry, and leadership.
  • I will memorize and meditate on the "Sermon on the Mount" from Matthew 5-7 by the end of 2013.  Averaging about 3 verses per week.
  • I will read 4 books centered around Jesus by the end of the 2013.  Averaging roughly 1 book per 3 months.  (Christ Plays in 10,000 Places by Eugene Petersen, The Jesus You Thought You Knew by John MacArthur, and 2 others TBD)

  • I will run 600 total miles (50 miles per month), log at least 244 activities (about 19 per month), and participate in at least 6 running races of any distance by the end of 2013.

  • I will read a bible story using the book given to us by the Dickenson family to my daughter at least three times a week before bedtime totaling about 150 reads in 2013.

Professional Learning (still have work to do)

School Leadership (Still have work to do)

Please share your comments!

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