Margin Graphic


Perhaps the title is a bit overplayed. I do have some thoughts, though, that will help you have wider margin in your life.


What is margin? It is open space. It is catching our breath. It is adequate time. If we are marginless we are busy and overextended.


Dr. Richard Swenson illustrated this well in his book titled Margin. He wrote, “The conditions of modern-day living devour margin… Marginless is being thirty minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were twenty minutes late out of the hairdresser’s because you were ten minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station-and you forgot your purse. Margin, on the other hand, 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.”


This isn’t just about stress level. This is connected to your holiness level. When activities begin to butt up against (or overlap) other activities life stops working right. Work, relationships, and the soul start to warp. Dysfunction (not working right) and warping (not shaped right) is a description of sin. You can’t be maintaining sin and developing holiness at the same time.


If marginless-ness is responsible for so much dysfunction, what is the solution? Wait for it… pause more. I want to submit you try to pause more during the day. Plan margin into your day. I recently heard an interview with author Peter Bregman. His book 18 Minutes offers a simple guide for margin. I have found this to be really beneficial. You can follow the link to read more detail, but the template is:
  • 5 minutes to plan ahead
  • 1 minute each hour of the workday to refocus
  • 5 minute to review
The potency of those minutes comes from the questions you ask yourself. Bregman offers some great suggestions, but I would also suggest you turn a listening ear to God. Obviously this isn’t the antidote to all your dysfunction and busyness in your life, but it is a place to start.


On a scale of 1-10, how much pain is marginless-ness causing in your life?


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