Thursday, January 10, 2013

Margin Is...

Margin is…having breath left at the top of the staircase, money left at the end of the month, and sanity left at the end of adolescence.

Marginless is not having time to finish the book you’re reading on stress; margin is having the time to read it twice.
Marginless is fatigue; margin is energy.
Marginless is red ink; margin is black ink.
Marginless is hurry; margin is calm.
Marginless is anxiety; margin is security.
Marginless is culture; margin is counterculture.
Marginless is reality; margin is remedy.
Marginless is the disease of our day.
Margin is it’s cure.-----Richard A. Swenson, M.D. “Margin-Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives”
Live with margin and the world will call you rigid. You will constantly be turning down good things for the best things. There will be many things that just don’t get done—but the important things will. Living with margin means leaving room for ministry and for Sabbath rest.

When the world screamed for me to do something I would jump. I’m no longer like that. It is difficult at times because I like people to like me. I want them to be pleased with me. In my fifty-two years of living I’ve realized that most things can wait. There are few decisions that must be made ‘on the spot.’ The reality is usually if you act fast you will end up waiting for the other person. People pound on you because they want control. That’s the way the world works. The other truth is if you don’t make the decision right away circumstances will lead you in the right direction. Take a deep breath and wait.

Jesus certainly lived with margin. There were a bunch of people He didn’t heal. There were many towns He didn’t visit. It is said that He set His face like flint toward His single goal. In the midst of that He did stop to chat with people. He made choices based on mission. He went to a quiet place when He needed to. He told us to not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough trouble of its own. Move forward face focused yet not overwhelmed.

Life is one constant balancing act. There is the wife and the kid, the bills and the blog, work week and Sabbath rest. Margin means being deliberate about each. Margin means knowing which are the most important. If you set your face like flint on one thing what would it be? Diligence demands forethought. Margin is making room for what’s important. The reality is not that we’ve arrived but that we keep pressing on.

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