In school, we were all raised to turn in papers with appropriate sized margins, font and line spacing. I was never sure of the exact purpose of this, other than to give the teacher more room to write critique in red ink (and in English I received a fair amount of red ink). Of course, there were always those students who exaggerated margins, in order to artificially lengthen a paper. Regardless of this, there is no doubt margins were important.
I heard it said recently that the greatest things in life live in the margins.
When life is crammed, busy and overloaded, it’s like writing a paper from edge to edge, leaving no room for margin.
- Creativity cannot ultimately be planned or systemized…it lives in the spontaneous moments of margin. And when it comes, be prepared to act.
- Thinking time is clearer when you slow down, even for a moment. Great leaders actually build time into their schedules to think.
- Family time thrives in margin. My wife and daughter are my partners in ministry, and are committed to go the distance with me. But I refuse to sacrifice my relationship with them on the altar of ministry. The great thing is, I don’t have to. I can win at both…with margin.
- Most importantly, it seems our prayer and devotional life is the first thing to go when margin disappears. We believe the lie that we don’t have time to pray, because we have things to do. We forget Psalm 127, where it says we labor in vain unless God builds the house.
I’ve killed my “margin time” over the years, by operating last-minute, and by the seat of my pants. Failure to plan is simply a kill shot to margin. But the more planning and preparation I add into my life, I make more room for margin time.
Don’t allow our busy, driven world to steal your margin in life. You’re no good to anyone burnt out, frustrated and tired. Be refreshed in the margins.