Many have speculated as to why Switzerland has never tried to conquer the world, and the best theory to date is because of the Swiss Army Knife… the fight simply wouldn’t be fair, and the Swiss know that world domination is mostly about the challenge, not the victory, and so they are content to simply know that they could… if they wanted to… so they spend their energy on world class cheese and chocolate instead.
It’s one of the most recognized symbols in the world… signature red with the trademark cross. It’s inception was nothing less than a stroke of genius… one device to replace them all. Many have tried to muscle in on the SAK territory, Gerber, Leatherman, but none have yet taken the hill from the king.
I will confess that I have my Leatherman WAVE in my backpack at this very moment, but the Swiss Army Knife doesn’t go in the backpack, it goes in the pocket, on the keychain, to the office, to the coffee shop, and yes, to the opera. Woe to the man with a poppy seed ‘tween his molars and is without a plastic toothpick! And we don’t even want to consider the dread possibility of a splinter or *ghasp* hangnail!
Nail file, fish scaler, hook remover, not one but TWO flat-head screw drivers, Phillips bit, bottle opener, can opener, leather punch and yes, two knife blades and a corkscrew (not to mention the tweezers, toothpick and key ring)… and that’s just the base model. If you can’t do it with a Swiss Army Knife, you probably don’t even need to do it. I mean, seriously, even MacGyver needed one.
We have come to relate ‘Swiss Army’ with the idea of something that can do ANYTHING. There was a time when I was really proud because someone called me a “Swiss Army Knife of Ministry”… I can lead worship, I can preach, I can write Bible studies and lead small groups. I can teach, I can plan and administrate. I can mow the grass. I can paint everything from stage-sets to murals, I can run sound equipment, lighting equipment, video equipment, computers, cameras… I can do literally anything that needs to be done.
The problem, as I have come to see, is that while the Swiss Army Knife can manage nearly any task set before it, it isn’t usually the best tool for any of the jobs is can do… A screw driver or a cordless drill work much better, you wouldn’t use it in the kitchen, I’m pretty sure nobody has ever actually used the hook remover and, let’s face it, reusing a toothpick is kinda gross…
Yes, there are situations where the Swiss Army Knife is absolutely in it’s element… a camping trip, a picnic, back seat of a taxi, trapped under the wing of a downed Cessna in the Sahara… it’s meant to lighten the load, to get you out of a jam, sometimes it’s the perfect thing, but most of the time it’s like throwing a hail-Mary… it’s the last option and u hope it does the trick…
Honestly, this is not the sort of pastor I want to be… When I need to open a bottle of wine I don’t reach for The Knife, I go get the stainless steel butterfly corkscrew from the kitchen drawer. Like the old saying, “the right tool for the right job”.
But what does this mean for me as I search for my place in Gods Kingdom? What do you do when you are good at nearly everything, but not exceptional at anything? What do u do when you are just the grease-man? You get things done when there’s nobody else to do it, and you do it well, but when it’s time to say why you should be kept around there isn’t really an answer…?
I mean, does a Swiss Army Knife even have a job description? Why would anyone buy one when they already have all those other tools in the drawer?
…why do I still have one?
What does this mean for you, as you you search for your own place in the kingdom? Do you have a specialized, God-given talent that you can do better than anyone else? Can you do a little bit of everything? No matter what flip-out utensil on God’s knife you might identify with the fact is that you are part of it, and there’s nobody else who can be that part, so make sure to be the best darn plastic toothpick you can be, because God will use you to get someone out of a jam.