The Handy Dandy Screwdriver

A modern parable

by Lura Langenback

© August 14, 2000

There once was a man who cherished and loved his brand new shiny car. Every day he admired it, checking for scratches and imperfections. Finding none, he polished the car with a special cloth so that there would be no marks in the finish. Day after day he drove it to work, parking the car in a secure location. As he worked, drifting thoughts of the shiny, brand-new car came into his head. After work, he drove home cautiously, making certain that other drivers stayed their distance from the beautiful new car.

One morning, when he tried to start it, nothing happened. He labored feverishly trying to find the problem. Because he wasn't a mechanic, it was beyond his capabilities. But the man had his handy dandy little screwdriver. Certainly that would help, he thought. Alas, nothing he did made the car start.

In the same town there lived a mechanic, an expert at fixing cars. The man remembered the mechanic and called him to come and tow the bright, shiny new car to the garage. As they pulled out of his drive, the man tucked his handy dandy little screwdriver into his pocket. After all, he thought, you just never know. Arriving at the garage, the mechanic carefully and efficiently set out his tools, putting a cloth over the car's finish, opening the hood and beginning to search for the problem. Fascinated by the way the mechanic worked, the man watched everything he did. Soon, his mind drifted. He stopped watching the mechanic and daydreamed that he, himself, was fixing the car. The obvious answer to the problem popped into his head! Out came the handy dandy little screwdriver. Before he could act, the mechanic noticed what the man was doing and told him to wait. After all, the man had put his trust in the mechanic, right? Didn't he call the expert to fix the car? Yes, of course he did. What was he thinking?

The car was soon running perfectly again and the man was very happy. He paid the mechanic for his expert work and drove home. Oh, then the daydreams came back. Did the mechanic really fix it? he wondered. Perhaps he could do just one more thing to make it better. Out came the handy dandy little screwdriver. Surely turning one screw here or changing one thing there would not hurt. Getting caught up in the idea that he, and only he, could fix HIS car the way he wanted it, the screwdriver was set to the task of changing just a couple of things. Nothing important was touched, of course, just the small things. After his hard labor, the man tried to start the car. It would not start. Nothing worked, no matter what he tried to do.

In II Peter 5:6-7, God tells us that we must humble ourselves under His mighty hand so that He can exalt us in due time. But then He says that we must cast our cares over on Him. Why? Because He cares for us., He takes on all of our problems if we let Him. In the story, the man trusted the mechanic to fix the car only long enough to get it home again. Once there, he felt that he could do a better job than the expert who had already fixed it. If he had only trusted the mechanic to do the whole job, he would not have needed to fix the car himself. When God says to humble ourselves, what He is telling us is that we must give Him ALL.....I said ALL...of our cares. Doing that, we have become humble the way God sees it. This is not the world's definition of humble, but God's.

The question is, do you want to run your life or would you rather have the Creator be in charge. It is He Who knows all there is to know about your past, present and future. Do you want the mechanic or the handy dandy little screwdriver?