We have begun a new series called Making Space or having margin in your life. Margin means adjusting your life to create more space.
There was a time that margin was not an issue. Some of you may remember, some of you may not be old enough to remember the good ole days. Even if you haven’t lived in that era, no doubt you have heard grandparents and others talk about that kinder, gentler time in our history. There is some truth to what they say.
In the good ole days people had margin in their lives. It was a time people lingered at the dinner table well beyond the last bite of food and enjoyed conversation and laughter. People visited with the neighbors, took long walks, dug in the garden, sat in rocking chairs on the front porch, slept a full night, and took weekends off. None of this was regarded as unusual. Life was still a challenge, but margin was not.
Today it is a challenge. The world is speeding up in the name of progress and so are our lifestyles. The result is that people get overloaded in their lives. Areas of overload include too much activity, too much change, too many choices, too much work, too much debt, too much media exposure, too much information and an overall frenetic lifestyle. All this overload leads to stress and frustration. Consider some facts: The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. We spend 8 months of our lives opening junk mail and two years of our lives playing phone tag. Without margin each day is simply a blur that occurs between waking in the morning and going to bed in the evening.
It can seem that life is akin to being constantly on a treadmill. It just keeps going faster and faster, and as the speed increases so is the difficulty of keeping pace and not falling off. Then, in spite of the speed, we realize that when we stop that we are in the same exact place that we started. Or, you may feel like Job did in Job 3:26: “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Margin is not something that just happens. You have to fight for it. That is what the Making Space series is all about. The series is a blueprint for finding more space, more margin. You can, if you are determined, to put some margin in your schedule.
Which of us would not love to have more time? Wouldn’t you love to have time to do some things that you would like to do? Wouldn’t you love to have more time with the kids? Wouldn’t you love to have time to just sit and read a book, watch the stars come out at night, or take a walk in the woods? Margin would be having time to listen to your children, or play some games with your grandchildren. Margin would be having time to visit with a neighbor, or help someone in need. Without margin, there is little or no time left for building an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father!
So why not install some margin in your life? Why not find ways to increase the amount of margin in your schedule? I encourage you to attend Northstar during this series as we will attempt to help you answer those questions.
Let me give you one tip to use as you evaluate the margin in your life. I learned this tip from Andy Stanley. Andy suggests that you ask one question when faced with making decisions in your life; “Is it wise?” Try it. When you are making a decision regarding your calendar or personal activities ask, “in light of the time that I have, is it wise to add this to my calendar?” “In light of the fact that my children will not always be small and cuddly, is it wise to add this to my calendar?” “In light of the fact that my teenager needs some quality time with me, is it wise to go here or there?” If I have no financial margin, is it wise to incur more debt? Is it wise to buy the newest car, the nicest house, the biggest TV or have the most extravagant vacations?
Next week we will talk about finding margin in your financial life.
I hope to see you at one of our Northstar campuses or online at www.northstar.cc. You may find the time to sit on the porch and enjoy the good ole days today.