And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? Luke 9:23-25 (ESV)
I am not a shopper. Not someone who loves to browse and wander through stores for fun. I am a sniper shopper. I get in and get it and get out. But, I do love looking for bargains and get excited about sale racks especially when I have a coupon for a discount. I am ashamed to admit that sometimes, I buy the same shirt in a variety of colors if it is the right price. Even after a recent culling of my closet, I still have way too many clothes. I mentioned recently that I read a book by Jen Hatmaker called 7 which is subtitled “an experimental mutiny against excess.” This month, along with the DJs at the radio station I listen to, I reduced my wardrobe to seven items, black jeans, blue jeans, a grey blazer, a black shirt, a grey shirt, a purple T-Shirt and a pair of brown shoes. Thankfully, pajamas, underwear and socks are excluded from the experiment! Despite the multitude of clothing options I have, it has not been as hard as I thought to wear the same pair of pants four days in a row. But, unlike some people around the world who really only have seven items of clothing or less, I have the privilege of being able to wash those pants every night. And dry them before wearing them the next morning (except one day when I wore wet pants to work because I forgot to put them in the dryer). So, while I am learning that I can live without a closetful of clothes, I am not really learning what it is like to have to wash those clothes by hand and depend on the sun to dry them. Today my willpower was put to the test because I got a Kohls gift certificate for my birthday. Going to Kohls is like getting a treasure map and going off in search of riches. With all those clearance racks and coupons, I love shopping at Kohls. I would have spent the card on myself, but along with one of the DJs who is doing the experiment, I decided that I would not buy any new clothes for one year starting on my birthday. I walked into Kohls today intent on using the gift card for some shoes for the children in Guatemala, but did not realize how hard it would be to see all the cute items that I could have gotten for free. From a peasant blouse in a multitude of colors to some Converse sneakers on sale, I saw a lot of things I wanted, but did not need. It was time to turn on the sniper shopper in me, get the children’s shoes and get out. I did, but not without a struggle. Why would I feel the need to buy something when I am in the middle of identifying areas where I have too much? I don’t know. But, obviously, I still have work to do!