Every time I turn around, someone gives me a card with strict instructions to carry it in my wallet at all times. My grocery store wants me to have its own special discount card, Blockbuster wants me to have its membership card, and recently, Delta gave me a medallion card to prove I am a frequent flier.

My wallet used to be a thin, anemic thing. It carried my driver’s license, a picture of my wife and, on a good day, three bucks. It seems clear that as I have grown thicker, so has my wallet. When I carry it in my hip pocket, it looks as though I am walking around with a growth on my posterior—the last place I need additional bulk. I believe if I reduced my wallet size, I could easily drop two pants’ sizes.

I examined my wallet today and discovered one AAA card that I have carried since 1984 but have only used twice during the last 17 years. I found my health insurance card and a separate prescription card that works about as well as my Woolworth’s credit card. I also found two American Express cards, one personal and one business; and two Visa cards, one personal and one business. In addition, I found a class C driver’s license (so I can drive the church bus) and a Sam’s Wholesale membership card. (Now, this one comes in handy. If the disciples had owned a Sam’s card, they wouldn’t have wondered where to get enough food to feed the five thousand). My wallet also holds a MasterCard, a phone card, a membership card for a video store, a credit union card, several airline cards, about a half dozen receipts from who knows where, a picture of my wife and children and. . . I still have only three bucks.

When my boys still lived at home, I had what I called a Bermuda Triangle wallet. I could put $10 in it, and the next morning, the money would be gone—vanished. I would stare deep inside its folds, but the money was nowhere to be seen. It just disappeared. After the boys moved away from home, the Bermuda Triangle wallet turned back into a normal wallet again.

My wife keeps telling me I don’t need to carry all this stuff around, but I just smile and whisper, “Look who’s talking.” I have a hunch that somewhere deep in her purse lurk several items she’s owned since high school. But I’ll never check. No man would dare venture past those leather handles.

That’s a thought—could carrying a purse provide the solution to my wallet problem? Men in Europe carry purses, or bags that look like purses, anyway. In fact, a new breed of man has popped up. Society calls them metrosexuals. A metrosexual is a straight man who loves clothes and shopping for them, uses three different products to style his hair and enjoys manicures and pedicures. Most metrosexuals would describe themselves as “sensitive” and “romantic.” They may not carry purses, but they often have man bags.

If I had a man bag to keep up with, I’d leave it everywhere. I would be so embarrassed to hear the announcement blasted on Wal-Mart’s public address system, “Would Walker Moore report to the Customer Service desk? We have found your purse.” I could never go back to that store—never.

Instead of a purse or man bag, I’ve considered carrying two wallets—one for each hip—to distribute the contents evenly. But then I’d forget which items I placed on which side, and as I frantically looked through them both, a store clerk would call security.

What I really need instead is a walletectomy. I need to determine what’s most important and just carry the other stuff as needed. However, I often have trouble distinguishing between the important and the semi-important.

Sometimes I have the same problem when it comes to my children. Which is more important: my work, which provides them the necessities of life; or doing without some things and spending a little more time with my family? I do many good things for my children. I talk to them about their days, and I know their friends. But do I take care of the most important things? Do I talk to them about spiritual matters and what God is doing in their lives? Not enough, I’m afraid. Not nearly enough.

My life seems to have the same problem as my wallet: they both carry too many non-essential things. Maybe while I am operating on my wallet, Dr. Jesus needs to do a heartectomy . . . on me.

Walker Moore is president of AweStar Ministries in Tulsa, P.O. Box 470265, Tulsa 74147, e-mail walker@awestar.org, phone 800/AWESTAR (293-7827.