Do you suffer from overload? One more thing won’t hurt, will it? One more piece of pie, one more hour of work, one more expense on the Visa—yes, they will hurt. Most of us have our lives prescheduled into every inch of our Day Planner. We lack the margins necessary for a balanced life.
What are margins?
Think of a book. If there were no margins on the page, you would see printing from the very top left corner to the very bottom right corner. It would be difficult to read, and there would be no space to write notes. How would you know where one thought ends and another begins if there was no paragraph spacing? That is how it feels when we have no margins in our life. That is also how it looks to others who “read” us when we have no margins in our lives.
What margins do
Margins give our lives a breathing room. They allow us space where we can look inward and upward. Jesus practiced margins. He often said “No” to the crowds who desperately needed him, and he often went off by himself for a spell. This was His regular practice. He asked his disciples to do the same. Read through the gospels just looking for margins in His earthly life, and you will find them spread all over.
Why do we lack margins? Why do we overload our lives? Why do we have to keep adding one more thing? We don’t realize how much we already have—how much time, material goods, information, and more.
Richard Swenson comments on two types of overload of which I was unaware: “Information overload—A single edition of the New York Times contains more information than a seventeenth-century Britisher would encounter in a lifetime. Technology overload—It has been estimated that the average person must learn to operate twenty thousand pieces of equipment.”
Time to slow down, commit to saying “No” to things that would fill up the margins of my life, and balance out what does fit within the margins. Summer is here—time to slow down and re-evaluate my life.
What about you?
What margins do you need to enable your life to be more balanced?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis