The Need for Margin

by Lee Buford on November 18, 2010

Opportunity is everywhere. We hear all the time that those who want success can have it…if they want it bad enough. Even in challenging economic environments there is money to be made, jobs to be had, and opportunities to be captured.

Go, go, go! Don’t wait. The early bird gets the worm, so get up, get out, and get after it!

Sound familiar? It should. That’s the message our society shouts from the rooftops and the boardrooms. And make no mistake, it’s a culture that’s invaded our churches as well. In many cases, in our personal lives and our churches, we’ve programmed ourselves to the point of exhaustion, all in the name of doing for the cause of Christ. But what we’ve effectively done in many cases is program the Holy Spirit right out of our plans and our lives.

I’m not arguing against the validity of aggressively pursuing our callings, goals and dreams. We should…in the proper context, at the proper times. What I have noticed, however, is a society of individuals seemingly far more in need of increased margin than another event to attend, accomplishment to reach, or victory to celebrate.

We’re burned out, stressed out, and flat-out over our heads in “stuff” and things we “have to” get done. As a result we’re NOT accomplishing our purposes, we’re ruining our health, and we’re just no fun to be around.

The good news is it’s fixable. We can turn the tide. But, just like the pursuit of the “more and more” mentioned above, we have to want the “less and less” just as badly, and we have to commit ourselves to the pursuit of margin rather than the “American dream.”

We must begin to take steps back, to say “NO” to things and people and, most importantly, we must begin to be okay with that. This is one instance where drawing that proverbial line in the sand will greatly benefit all of us.

Stop. Step back. Set aside time for prayer, for study in the Word and, most importantly, time to just be still and listen to God. In fact, schedule it. Guard it. Protect it.

God. Family. Everything else. That has to be the blueprint if we’re going to get to where God intends us to be, as individuals and churches. And we’ll never get there if we don’t commit to securing more margin in our lives. It’s all around us, but we must want it, pursue it, and capture it.

What things are preventing you from obtaining adequate margin in your life? What will you do to correct it?

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