A woman’s purse – a source of lifelong frustration for women and a great mystery to men. I had a business associate who, after being married nearly 50 years, told me there are two things he won’t do: he won’t sign his wife’s name and he won’t go in her purse. A wise man! Let’s face it, consciously or subconsciously, a woman’s purse speaks a lot about her. Women spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a name brand to hang on their arm. A well matched purse-to-outfit tells others you pay attention to detail, and that you have the time and patience swap purses regularly. Many ladies remember their first purse, and it seems to be that the older you are the bigger purse you have.
I’ve always liked to think I carry a pretty small purse, just bringing along the necessities and leaving the rest at home. I had to rethink that idea when I reached into a zipper compartment this morning to pull out some lip gloss. There were a number of obscure objects, and I think I really had a shot of winning something on Let’s Make A Deal. Batteries. Two packages of travel dental floss. Countless earrings. A broken ring (beads everywhere!). Nyquil. No less than nine hair clips and three pens. Oh, and I did finally find that lip gloss, along with a lip liner and a tube of Chapstick. Keep in mind that was only one of my two zipper compartments.
Without even knowing it, my small purse had accumulated a lot of unnecessary baggage, and I had to ask myself how exactly this had happened. It’s not like I woke up one morning and threw everything into my purse that didn’t have a spot elsewhere in my house. No, it was one thing at a time. One “I’ll take care of this later” until I had a serious accumulation. And so goes the other baggage in our life; you know, the spiritual and emotional baggage that we all have. It’s not like one day I decided I’m going to let things bother me today from fifteen years ago. Instead what happened was over the years I decided I couldn’t or wouldn’t take care of issues as they arose (probably because I'm taking care of even older problems) and so I let “future me” handle them.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to let Future Amie handle my problems. Future Amie is great because she lets me get on with my life now. Or so it seems until one day my husband asks me why he doesn’t have any clean underwear, and I explain through tears why I failed English in the seventh grade. I swear that teacher had it out for me!
While I don’t have all the answers, here are a few things I think we can do to help ourselves. Start with today’s problems, taking to heart the words of Ephesians 4:26-27, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” There is no better time than now to take care of your problems! Then, start taking care of yesterday’s problems. Address the carryover issues, one at a time, until they are all dealt with.
Yes, I know I am oversimplifying this. And, yes, I know this is something we will all continue to deal with. But I truly believe God wants us to live without the unnecessary stress that “baggage” adds to our life. When we aren’t all wrapped up in ourselves, we can focus on what we’re supposed to: loving God and loving others.