Friday, April 30, 2010

Margin

After working an extra hour and a half overtime today, I got to thinking about something that I heard at a Kairos church planting workshop several years ago. It was there where I heard the idea of balance in my life put into words that we can all understand. Sonny Guild spoke to a room full of people about to embark or having just jumped into the world of starting a new church where there was not one before, and there he interjected the idea of margin, and it has stuck with me every day since then.

Margin is the idea that in whatever things we do, especially the difficult and time consuming ones, we should keep a measure of restraint to limit ourselves from pushing too much of ourselves into something lest we become overwhelmed with stress, and burn out into uselessness. There are times when we feel that something will not be done unless we are the ones doing it. Sometimes, frankly, this is true. Today I had to stay late to finish a project or else it would not have gotten done, and it absolutely had to be done today. However, if something stretches you to the point where you neglect everything, including your family and your own well being, then you must reevaluate the amount of time and effort you are putting into that thing. Even if it is something that you love to do, it will eventually burn you out and you will grow to resent it. Just ask anyone who turns their hobby into their job.

I thought I was laid back before Sonny spoke his words of wisdom, but now I think my cares are limited to only the most important things. Basically, this is me just giving you an excuse not to be lazy, but to take the initiative to sometimes say no to that extra amount of work and have some down time to yourself or with your loved ones. God took a sabbath, and so should you.