I kind of introduced this concept of “Margin” coined by Richard A. Swenson in my message yesterday at the worship gathering. Frankly, I was very much aware that I too needed to heed the call to watch how my life get’s overloaded in all areas. The fact is I’m definately not in a place in my life where I’ve fully managed to be have a good “margin” 🙂 But, it’s good to have some language to remind me to stay healthy.
Here’s what I read out tas part of the message …
“Marginless is being thirty minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were twenty minutes late getting out of the bank because you were ten minutes late dropping the kids off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station — and you forgot your wallet.
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.
Marginless is the baby crying and the phone ringing at the same time; margin is Grandma taking the baby for the afternoon. Marginless is being asked to 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 cam.
Marginless is anxiety; margin is security.
Marginless is culture; margin is counterculture.
Marginless is the disease of the new millenium; margin is the cure.”(p. 13)
I can relate to the book reading part a lot 🙂 But I do wonder whether thos eof us who hear the above quote consider this state of “marginless” as a disease of our times. Living in the capital of Malaysia and just listening to our conversations … it seems to be in our city life in Kuala Lumpur … most of us have “overloaded” lives and it’s hard to “let some stuff” go and we’re taking upon ourselves more “loads”. But I think a deeper concern is there’s an illusion that because of our abilities, education, and technology we deceive ourselves that we are “limitless”. This surely is not spoken … but our actions speak very loudly.
here’s some other stuff that I highlighted and brought me to more than one pause:
“Analyzing progress and social trends from this macroscopic view lends a valuable perspective. But we do not see pain as clearly from this distance as we do when it sits in front of us. Pain comes alive when it talks — even more so when it cries.” (p. 24)
“Margin has been stolen away, and progress was the thief” (p. 25)
“Before we can subjugate progress, we must first break the addiction.” (p. 29)
“Margin … knows how to nurture relationship. In fact, margin exists for relationship.”(p. 30)
“Margin is the space between our load and our limits.” (p. 69)
“… margin is not a spiritual necessity. But availability is. God expects us to be available for the needs of others. And without margin, each of us would have great difficulty guuarenteeing availability. Instead when God calls. He gets the busy signal.” (p. 77)
I’m encouraged through reading Swenson’s book I can have a greater awareness of beyond stress and change but also margin, limits and loads. We only have one life … and I want to live it to the fullest 🙂