Building Margin into Your Life
“I have no peace! I have no quiet! I have no rest! And trouble keeps coming.” (Job 3:26 GWT)
RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – Connor has always been one who stays caught up, and often ahead on his school work. He’s told me that when he gets an assignment, he decides how early he wants to have it done, and starts working backward with his calendar for a timeline to completion. He does not like to even entertain getting behind.
I am trying to learn from Connor. It seems like life can overwhelm you, constantly, if you let it. But, if you plan ahead, like Connor, it’s less likely to happen. But with that planning, it’s important to leave some margin.
The problem grows when we don’t take time-to take time.
Yesterday, I was working with a corporate guy from one of our biggest suppliers. During our lunch meeting his phone died…from him being on it constantly. At one point we left an appointment and went back by the office so I could glance over some emails. He was excited to be able to do the same, hoping he might not have to work so late that evening. This is after he got up at 4, to head to the airport at 5, to catch a plane at 7, to meet me at 10. I dropped him off at his hotel that night around 9:30 after meeting some people for dinner. He was headed to his room to work on a report due the next morning.
Sometimes my days end up having to be hectic like that. Fortunately, that is not the norm. Most mornings I try to do my best Phil Downer imitation. I learned from him to look at my calendar the night before, see what time I would need to get started, and then plan on getting up earlier to give myself time to read and pray. During that time I give my day to God. I pray for my family, my co-workers and the people I am going to be around that day. I then try and leave some additional time open just in case someone wants to meet.
There are those rare occasions where I have a day like my corporate buddy had yesterday. I get home totally worn out. The mental and physical fatigue are real as I walk in the door running on fumes. I sit here now wondering how people do that day after day. What toll does it take on them physically, mentally and spiritually? How does it effect their life?
Jesus left us a great template for living out our lives. He got up early in the morning and spent time with his Dad. He then spent time doing his work (speaking with the masses). He showed us that he wasn’t too busy to speak with someone at the “water cooler” (the Samaritan woman at the well). He seldom had his Bible with him, but often quoted scripture he’d memorized in his conversations. He wept with those who were weeping. He laughed with those who were laughing. He met people where they were. More importantly he loved them where they were. But He loved them too much to leave them where he met them…He always pointed them toward His Father.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes. (Job 3:26 ESV)