Reviewing the Needy post from last week - physically we need air, water, food, companionship and shelter. Spiritually we need these things as well. We were challenged to think what spiritual air, water, food, companionship, and shelter looked like for us. As we identify our spiritual and physical needs it is common for folks to say, “I don’t have enough time.” Another way to say that is to say we don’t have enough margin in our day to be physically and spiritually healthy.
I first heard margin used in context with time in the 1990’s when I read “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.” by Swenson. I know I don’t plan margin in my life perfectly but it is so important that I am willing to fight for it.
Picture an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper filled edge to edge and top to bottom with words like: stressed-hurried-frazzled-anxious-harsh-confused-hurt-angry-misuderstood-etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.
Picture this page with every spot filled edge to edge and top to bottom with NO MARGIN.
Picture another sheet of paper with one inch margins with words on the page that say,
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted among the earth.” Psalm 46:10
“I will fight for you, you only need to be still.” Exodus 14:14
You are loved and accepted. Cast all your cares on me, (Jesus), because I care for you (your name). Slow down and enjoy relationships and the simple things in life. Practice the presence of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit moment by moment. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Be gentle and humble because I, (Jesus), am that way. Partner with me for my burden for you is not heavy but light. Partner with me and learn from me and you will find rest for your soul.
Margin Challenge - only plan 60-70% of your calendar including personal time with God, family, work/school, Biblical Community, and hobbies etc. We have 168 hours in each week. Here is a template sample you can adapt to your season of life.
168 total hours 49 hours of sleep 119 hours left 71.4-83.3 hours/week is 60-70%
Consider taking a blank monthly calendar and color coding it with God, family, work/school, Biblical Community, and hobbies etc. Each having their own color so you can see how much time each area gets. Once you have your calendar filled in you can calculate the margin that you have.
If we are short on margin we find ourselves tempted to be poor stewards of the physical and spiritual parts of life. The hurried marginless life is filled with stress, anxiety, and confusion. The sad thing is that many of us have a tendency to run harder and harder to find our way the more blurry and confused the way gets. I’m with you on this. I have failed in this stewardship many times. Once I realized that this issue was connected to a healthy fear of God, I took great strides in the right direction. I was able to see how physical and spiritual health impacted not only me but others as well. My family and friends were impacted. I was becoming a better follower of Jesus and I was being more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s lead in my life to help others follow Jesus as well.
Be encouraged to build margin into your schedule so you can be still and know God. Be encouraged to build margin into your schedule so you can be the best you God intended you to be.