I chose this week’s blog picture to illustrate what happens when you go beyond the margin…well that and I’ll use any excuse to use a Formula 1 car as an illustration 🙂
In racing you want to use up as much margin as possible and be just on the edge of losing control because that’s the fast way around the racetrack. In today’s blog I want to contrast while margins are a thing to use up in racing they need to be guarded in our lives.
First, what do I mean by having margins in our lives? I agree with this explanation:
“What is margin? Margin is breathing room. Margin is a little reserve that you’re not using up. You’re not stretched to the limit. You’re not going from one meeting to the next to the next with no space in between. Margin is the space between my load and my limit.” – Pastor Darryl Dash
For most of us our lives are defined by lack of margin. We dash through each day just hoping that we can accomplish everything on our to do list. Work, chores, kids’ sports, hobbies, and even good things like church activities can eat away any margin you have in your life. Our constant connection to electronic devices only tends to help us be more efficient at eating into our margins. It’s great to be able to order a pizza on your mobile phone while driving to soccer practice, right?
Sometimes the fast pace of life becomes our biggest enemy. Here’s some wisdom from the Bible’s about having margin in our lives:
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
Proverbs 21:5 NLT
“whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”
Proverbs 19:2b ESV
“Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.”
Ecclesiastes 4:6 ESV
How do we get margin in our lives? Proverbs 21:5 gives us a good idea, it involves planning and hard work. There are only so many hours in a day. Plan to work hard but be realistic about what can be accomplished in a given amount of time. In fact always plan to do a little less than you can accomplish. This will leave room to deal with the unexpected things that always seem to crop up.
If you want to be healthy you need to bring balance to your life. Yes hard work and planning are needed but we all need a season of rest and recharging. Carving out that balance may mean you have to say no to some things that are eating away at the margin in your life. When the everyday pace of life begins to bring stress and burnout it’s time to reevaluate what you are prioritizing in life.