If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success. (Ecclesiastes 10:10)
Seriously, one wouldn't venture to fell a tree without sharpening the axe. But it does happen frequently and then alas! the one wielding the axe realizes the folly. Many who are called to God's work follow in the same vein; some getting frustrated in the process and some burning out fast. A call to God's work usually calls for preparation for the task, according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Of course, there are few who are commissioned by God for immediate action, but the norm is, action after preparation. The period of preparation varies with individual to individual and the work called to. God remains in control all through, if one submits to him while being readied for the task.
The temptation to walk ahead of God or run ahead of him remains a great danger. To cite an example....One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?" The man said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "What I did must have become known."When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian......... (Exodus 2:11-15)
In his heart, Moses knew that he could possibly save his people from the cruel Egyptian bondage, but alas!it was not God's time. He did something in his own strength and it backfired.
God's call came to him 40 years later, when Moses was 80 years old and no longer keen for heroics. Thus he tried to stall God's call by giving several excuses, but finally God made him do what he intended him to do.....leading his people out of Egypt en route to the promised land.
Age 40 and Moses was bubbling with enthusiasm to save his people minus God's direction and age 80, he wanted nothing to do with God's glorious plans and that's why he said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."(Exodus 4:13)
A period of 'no active work' in a minister's life could be God's call to wait upon him in prayer and time to sharpen the axe, whatever the gift or talent be. God's timing is perfect and we should stick to his schedule, rather than ours.