Margin is the space between you and your limits.
We’ve been taught to live life to the max to push the limits and, whilst I understand the inspirational value of that, it’s really bad advice. When we live at our limits we leave no room for error, no room for rest, creativity or fun. When we live with no financial, physical, mental or emotional margin we live on the borders of burnout.
The Sabbath principle was a margin principle. The bible says that Jesus often withdrew to solitary places, which was him protecting his margins from been overwhelmed by people and their endless needs. Modern day living devours margin; progress and technology have brought us both benefit and loss. The great thing is we are always in touch and the bad thing is we are always in touch! We have accessibility overload, but there’s no dashboard warning lights to alert us.
We live in the best and worst of times. 150 years or so ago, guess what they did when it got dark? They went to bed because they had no electricity. Now we can and do work around the clock and it devours our margin. We are the smartest, most well-informed and well-connected people to ever live. But we are also the sickest. Despite all our breakthroughs in all fields, we have more people dependent on prescription medication than ever. At the heart of this is our failure to allow margin in our lives; our burning the candle at both ends has come back to bite us.
Margin leaves room to be creative, generous and available to serve or volunteer. Let’s put margin back into our lives and hand ourselves room to replenish and renew.