Pocket Knives

I grew up with a knife in my pocket. As a boy I carried a small pocket knife—a simple one-bladed jackknife. It was about 3-inches long. It was very handy for sharpening pencils and eating fresh oranges. In those days we were also taught to always carry a handkerchief or two. The extra one was in case we needed to help a lady in distress. In high school I carried a two-bladed pen knife, the kind with a big and a small blade. I also had a multipurpose Boy Scout knife and a fixed blade Scout knife. I still have both of my Scout knives and a few old pocketknives, including one that my father carried. When the Swiss Army knife became popular, of course, I had to have one of those. I found a handy-sized Swiss Army knife that I attached to my car key ring and used until the invention of the bulky car fobs. Over the years I almost donated a couple of pocketknives to airport security. I now keep my pocketknives strategically placed in the house, the garage, the church office desk and in the car. 

Some of my knives try to do too much. The Scout knife and the Swiss Army knife come equipped with bottle and can openers, serrated blades and an awl, which are handy when camping or fishing. They also have screwdriver bits, tweezers, scissors, a corkscrew and a plastic toothpick. You must have strong fingernails to open some of those knives. I prefer to have a few different-sized general purpose multi-tools for actual repair jobs. 

Most of my handy, ready for service knives sit neglected. How many assorted knives do you have tucked away in miscellaneous drawers? The secret to a good knife is a sharp, clean blade. I have some well-worn whetting stones in my workbench. Rusty knives do not help anything. Tender care helps everything. Proverbs 27 tells us, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  There is an art to keeping a blade sharp. It takes practice, persistence, patience and a little bit of oil to smooth the way. Then the knife is always ready to fulfill its purpose. Who are you helping to spiritually sharpen today? Who is helping you? 

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Stay sharp. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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