What are the margins that you are happy to live with?
Margins are buffers we build to resource our life journey. They act like a shock absorber when you hit one of the bumps in life. Can you absorb the bumps?
I used to live with low margins of time and money. The pressure of life and busyness I placed on myself was the main cause. Trying to keep up with others expectations and the unreal expectations I placed on myself was destructive to my well-being.
The effect of my excessive busyness was that I missed opportunities for real connection with others—to talk with transparency about how things really are.
A friendship is built by being with, and sharing life and stories. The tragic outcome of no margin is loneliness. Every time we say we don’t have time adds a layer of callousness to our connections. I realise now that my busyness pushed people away.
There is a story of the good Samaritan told by Jesus to explain how to love others. A man was beaten and left lying on the road. A priest saw him and crossed the road to avoid contact. So too, a temple assistant avoided contact. But a person of a different ethnic group stopped and assisted him. Maybe the problem for the priest and the volunteer was not a lack of compassion but a lack of margin in time and financial resources. The lack of margin not only restricts our ability to impact those who are strangers, but also impacts the quality of our key relationships.
Parents, make time to just hang with your kids. Making time every day when our kids were young created a connection where now they feel they can chat about anything.
What space do you have in your schedule and finances for interruptions that actually may be opportunities to do some good?
Running hard and being busy is not wrong but let’s make space. The value of this is not only for others but impacts our own well-being. Lack of margins led to my emotional sickness which in turn caused me to stop in a place where healing could happen. My tank filled. It is now a rich well from which I can give.
Imagine a life with wide margins, where we are not only able to enhance our key relationships but have space to connect with those we don’t yet know.