Equipment Check

“Some say opportunity knocks only once, That is not true. Opportunity knocks all the time, but you have to be ready for it. If the chance comes, you must have the equipment to take advantage of it.” -Louis L’Amour

What “equipment” comes to mind when you read that quote? Motivation, enthusiasm, talent? Perhaps more practical items: proper tools, a car, an eye-popping resume? If you are like me, you overlooked the most important piece of equipment in the room, the handle or knob by which a door is opened or closed, otherwise known as the doorknob.

What if opportunity was rapping on your chamber door but the doorknob was broken or worse yet, it worked perfectly fine but for whatever reason you couldn’t use it? Frustration? Irritation? Bitterness?

Our boys have developed the habit of waking up before the sun each morning, and as soon as their eyes are open, pitter-pattering across the house and climbing into bed with good old mom and dad. Andrew is normally the first to make the pilgrimage, but when he leaves he almost always closes the door behind him. A few hours later, when diurnal people begin their days, we will hear the door being hammered through the monitor in our room. Caedmon can’t reach the doorknob. Even if he could, it would be a small miracle for him to jimmy the childproofing device (notice they aren’t called Andrewproof) and manipulate the doorknob to get out. Frustration? Irritation? Bitterness?

I am sure he has been both frustrated and irritated, but Caedmon has never let bitterness anywhere near his heart. Normally he knocks for a while then moves on to more important things. When we finally get to his room he will have gotten out his clothes for the day and have his nose in a book. That kid’s awesome!

Well, the other day I was watching this video of Nick Vujicic going about his daily routine and noticed his doorknob. He doesn’t use a traditional knob, instead he uses a lever style so that he can open his door. DUH! You wouldn’t think that it would take 16 months and a home video from Australia for me to install a different knob but sadly that is the case. After a trip to Wal*Mart, two screws, and about five minutes of work; Caedmon had a new doorknob.

I wish I had been recording a video the first time he opened the door by himself. I’m betting that as soon as you read that sentence, you felt the same thing. Sorry.

The lever is still at the same height of a typical doorknob so Caedmon has to work to reach it. He scooted up close to the door, placed both hands on the ground in front of him, looked up at his goal, leapt from his knees, and swiped at new equipment.
So he tried again.
So close.
After rolling backwards and repositioning himself, another effort.
No avail.
With each attempt; I offered encouragement and he grinned like it was his birthday.
Still nothing.
Then it happened. His right hand gripped that lever like it grips his dessert fork and the door came open! He smiled like only he can, scooted out-of-the-way of the door, pushed it fully open, and scooted down the hallway to tell Jeni. I smiled the same way when our boys took their first steps. Another milestone.

Something as simple as switching a doorknob can be the difference between captivity and freedom. Isolation and companionship. Books and Disney Junior.

It got me thinking…

I wonder who else needs a new doorknob? Are there people out there that hear opportunity knocking yet find they don’t have the right equipment; they can’t operate their doorknob. All the while we sit on the other side of the door and look down our noses at them. We might call them shiftless, and perhaps they are. Maybe we’ll call them a lost cause, but I don’t think those exist.

Maybe they’re scared. I wonder if they have been hurt. Could there be more to the story than what I can observe from afar?

How can I give someone a new doorknob? How could you?

We all know someone. Maybe, instead of getting annoyed that we have to walk across the room and keep opening the door for them, we could empower them with a new knob, the right equipment for them to be successful. It could be a book, a ride, a sandwich. I don’t know… but you do. You know them. You might even live with them.

Caedmon still has to be the one who wants to get out of his room. He still has to find the motivation to get over to that door and effort to reach his new handle. But now when he does, he has the right equipment to open it.

Here are some pictures of Caedmon and his new doorknob, enjoy 🙂


  1. Another inspiring blog Ryan. Thank you. I marvel at my son who has found his a way to use his God-given equipment to do what we never thought would be possible. After he lost the fingers on his left hand, we wondered how he would ever be able to play Super Mario Brothers again, his favorite game on the Wii. In order to play this game you have to be able to push the + on the left side of the remote to steer Mario. At 4 years old he found a way to use the thumb joint on his hand, which he can still move, to push the buttons, He doesn’t let anything stand in the way of doing what he REALLY wants to do. Motivation knocked and Jacob answered.

  2. Our boys love Mario and Luigi themselves! We use a Wii so that they all can play together with minimal button pushing.

    I am glad Jacob found a way! I hope we all remember not to limit the people in our lives but encourage them to use their own thumb joint 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

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