Margin is the white space around an 8.5 X 11 piece of paper. It provides a boundary for the information on the paper. Word processors allow users to define the top, bottom, left and right margins with the simple click of a button. If only life were that simple!
Think about your life. Many of us have way too much activity, too much change, too many choices, too much work, too much debt, too much media exposure. We're stressed by information overload. We're stressed by accessibility overload. We're connected all the time. The sheer pace of life can be overwhelming.
How can we make it stop? What is the solution? One solution is to put some margin into your life. Margin is breathing room. Margin is a little reserve that you're not using up. It's when you're not stretched to the limit.
Margin has been defined as the space between my load and my limit. Hopefully your load is not heavier than your limits. But the truth is that most of us are far more overloaded than we can handle and there is no margin, no margin for error in our lives.
You may feel like Job did in Job 3:26 "I have no peace. I have no quiet. I have no rest and trouble keeps coming." Can you identify with that verse?
In Dr. Richard Swenson's book entitled Margin, this MD, states, "The conditions of modern day living devour margin. If you're homeless we direct you to a shelter. If you're penniless we offer you food stamps. If you're breathless we connect you to oxygen. But if you're marginless we give you one more thing to do.
Marginless is being thirty minutes late to the doctor's office because you were twenty minutes late getting out of the hairdresser because you were ten minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from a gas station and you forgot your purse. Margin, on the other hand, is having breath at the top of the staircase, money at the end of the month and sanity left over at the end of adolescence.
Marginless is the baby crying and the phone ringing at the same time. Margin is a relative taking the baby for the afternoon.
Marginless is being asked to carry a load five pounds heavier than you can lift. Margin is having a friend carry half the burden.
Marginless is not having time to finish the book you're reading on stress. Margin is having the time to read it twice.
Marginless is fatigue. Margin is energy.
Marginless is red ink. Margin is black ink.
Marginless is hurry. Margin is calm.
Marginless is our culture. Margin is counter-culture, having some space in your life and schedule.
Marginless is reality. Margin is remedy.
Marginless is the disease of our decade and margin is the cure."
Decide today to structure margin in your daily life. It will make a difference!