Haggai 1:5b-6, “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” (NIV)
Last Monday was my 53rd birthday. I received a number of cards from friends and family. Several of them had purses on the front. One friend wrote inside her colorful purse card to me that this particular card, “looked like me”. I realize that, from time to time, a particular motif captures the interest of cardmarkers, fashion designers, etc. and this is, undoubtedly, a season of interest in purses. I see all kinds of novelty purses being marketed, purchased, and used. I have overheard several conversations among women recently complimenting one another’s purses and expounding on the appeal or functionality of different purses.
There was a time when I was a “purse” person. I had a number of colorful novelty purses, many of which matched shoes. I was often changing personal items from one purse to another in order to achieve a coordinated look. But some time ago, for convenience, I got in the habit of using a sturdy, generously sized tailored namebrand leather bag with a shoulder strap and several compartments- “a place for erything and everything in its place”. Over time it became quite heavy with the things that I considered necessary for my day’s activities, working on the road as I did. Several people commented on what a burden it must be to lug such a heavy bag around. But for me, it was a necessary all-purpose life accessory kit.
In recent months, after leaving my road-warrior sales lifestyle, I moved my essentials to a blue nylon backpack style bag- very lightweight, waterproof, and very non-fashion. I’ve thinned down my accessories to just a handful of “necessary” items. The bag can be rolled up and thrown under a table or chair, and often is.
This purse transformation has accompanied a major life transformation, too. I went from a six figure income (barely, but six figures, nonetheless) to an income that will, at best, cover my automobile gas and cell phone monthly expenses. But, thank God, we are well blessed with one remaining income that covers our expenses and allows us to enjoy most of the things we enjoyed before, as well. We have the peace of mind of having a basic retirement plan in place. We do not want for anything and are able to give modestly to causes that mean a lot to us.
As I consider the purse that I used to carry, I think God has been showing me that it did, indeed, have “holes in it”. I spent impulsively at times. I enjoyed a false sense of security thanks to the bi-monthly automatic deposits. I am more careful with the checkbook balance now. I think twice before I purchase something that catches my eye.
Am I being a better steward? I hope so. Do I appreciate better the REAL source of my security? I pray that I do. Am I happy? Without a doubt!