Ministry Resources

Margin

Author: Dave Beroth

I know of a lead pastor who was given a summer sabbatical. He took the first two months riding his motorcycle around the perimeter of the US. (I like this guy!)

He said he learned a lot, but the biggest lesson was, “Don’t hurry. You never want to be in a hurry on a bike; you make mistakes when you hurry, and mistakes on a bike can be fatal.”

When he got home, he applied that lesson to the rest of his life. He discovered that “don’t hurry” applies to everything: relationships with people, God, work, etc.

Sometimes it seems like the only way to keep up with all the demands on our lives is to run at maximum capacity—and then some. But there is another way, one where we have room to breathe and space to respond to what life brings our way.

As you know, when someone places their signature at the end of a letter or document it is their personal mark that says, “I’ve put my hand to this.”

Would your letter or document have the proper margins?

Margin is the amount available beyond what is necessary. It’s the amount you have available beyond what is necessary. I might define margin as this: it’s the difference between what you have and what you need. If I have 30 minutes to get somewhere and it takes 20 minutes to get there, I have 10 minutes of margin.

I am concerned that margin is what most of us do not have. I am convinced the best things in life happen in the margin.

There’s a story told of a South American tribe that would go on a long march, when all of a sudden they would stop walking, sit down to rest for awhile, and then make camp for a couple of days before going any farther. When asked, they explained that they needed the time of rest so that their souls could catch up with them.

I thought of this penetrating question the other day. If I sat my life down and interviewed it… would it have something to say?

The answer, I believe, is in direct correlation as to whether or not I am not in a hurry.

  • What things in your life are keeping you too busy? How is that busyness affecting all areas of your life?
  • What changes will you make, starting now, that will allow you to create margin for things you value most in life?

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