I love to talk about having balance. But yesterday I was reading something and I saw the word MARGIN. My thoughts got to churning and I realized that it is not balance that we should be seeking as much as margin.
With balance, you proportion everything out to make balance…a little this, a lot of this…all the pieces fit to make balance. Fine, but if you are thinking that way, when you decide to be balanced in your life, you tend to:
1) do some things halfway in order to have something else
2) say yes to things you want and no to things God wants
Balance can be achieved many ways. So you can achieve balance but you didn’t really let God arrange it.
I definitely think that is how I started out my journey. I was overwhelmed and felt I needed balance. But although I stopped all the “optional” things I was doing…things I enjoyed most or were about me…from the beginning it was temporary. What I really wanted is to fit it all in. So I thought, once I get all caught up, then I can figure out how everything can fit. I can have it all…just in the right proportions. And I soon found the error of that thinking when all the perfect proportions expanded and was not balance anymore.
What I have really needed in my life, and found, is margin. This is where we take every thing in our life and lay it in front of God and let Him pick. He gives us a few things in life to do, and He wants us to do them well (Colossians 3:23-24). And then there are spaces. Margin. He gives us margin. We just need to not use the margin for more things we are “chasing after”.
For me, the margin is for feeling good, being less stressed, having time for the needs of my kids that might otherwise be a bother. And rest. For my soul.
Maybe God gives you a full time job plus being a parent.
Maybe He gives you a ministry plus an aging parent to care for.
Maybe He gives you being a parent and taking care of a house and running kids around.
Maybe He gives you full time job and a ministry.
Or maybe you are in a new season of life and those things are changing. Everyone’s list will be different.
The point is that we need margin. Margin to relieve stress. Margin to help a friend. Margin to be Jesus to someone. Margin to read a book. Margin to think and dream. Margin to truly live.
The hardest part is giving up those things we are chasing after. The ones that don’t follow along with His plan. The things we think “fill us up”. But He will fill us up. These things that margin brings will be a blessing to you that will fill up those longings. Because Philippians 4:19…glorious riches!