My Can Opener

This is chronicle XVI but also a double in everyday thinking.  God uses such ordinary things to teach me about myself.  He can do the same for you.  Here it is.

This morning I was opening a can of spaghetti sauce and as the opener smoothly circumvented the can top, I recalled the story of that very opener.  My daughter and her husband put their house on the market thinking it would take a long time to sell.  Of course, it sold right away.  My house was big enough for all of us and I invited them to stay with me.

John grumbled every single time he used my 1969 model S.S. Kresge opener.  Worse, my favorite was the “key” kind which for his large hands was very clumsy.  One day he came home with a nice, chrome, Swingline® opener.  Ten years later, it still effortlessly zings around the can top.

Standing at my counter I thought, “Hmm, what message lurks here for me?”  Several things have been dancing around in my head, but one in my heart.  Power.  The opener with the power makes the job easy.  But, I didn’t mind puttering away with the old, cheap, dull opener.  I wonder if, likewise, I am satisfied with doing things my own way.  Instead, I could be finding power from God if I just asked Him.  But no, all too often I have to try my way first. II Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us the spirit of fear, “but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind.” The Greek word for power there is dunamis.  The Greeks used two words for power.  One means “authority” and the other is the one used here which means explosive, miraculous power.  Bible scholars frequently remind us that it is the source of the word, dynamite.

Do I insist on praying my way?  Do I want to pray with power, God’s way?

In these forty days of prayer, I confess, I have prayed both ways.  God prefers His way and I want that way too.  Remember my post 2 or 3 days ago, “The Risk”?  This is not a 40 day diversion.

Thank you, John, for the can opener.  It is still working wonderfully, and today, it teaches!  Amazing.



  1. Glenda

    Knowing John, I can only imagine his frustration with that little, key-powered can opener! His large hands were not made for such a small instrument, and he handled the situation well by getting you a better instrument to do the job. I love your analogy, too….how long do we plod along, trying to do things our own way, when we should just open our minds and hearts and let God show us HIS way??!? Thank you for making me more aware of this in my own life. Still praying that God will turn our nation around, and very aware that it starts with each of us individually.

  2. Terrific, Karyl. Sometimes we have to be willing to give up our old way to find a new and more effective way. Love it.

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