Why you need margin

July 23, 2012 — Leave a comment

On friday I returned from a week-long trip work trip. A week before that I returned from ten days of vacation in Alabama. In all, my family and I have been out of town quite a bit–almost twenty days.

While I was gone I wondered about my vegetable garden. During those time temperatures here in North Carolina have been in the nineties most days. There have been thunder storms and rain. What would be the state of my garden on our return?

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Where there is no gardener there is no garden. And so I was fully expecting to return and need to spend countless miserable hours weeding the garden. To be sure, there are weeds–plenty of them. However, because the soil in which they are growing had been well-tilled, they came out relatively easily. 

Margin allows us to have a life that is well-tilled. When life gets tough, a well-tilled life can recover well. If our life is planted to the margins and leaves no time for cultivating the disciplines and practices we need to live well and with intention, then when difficulty strikes (when weeds grow) we’ll find that the unturned soil of our life has become hardened and the weeds will come out only with much effort and time.

That’s why it’s critical to make time to develop our relationship with God, our spouses, our children, and our friends. For more on this, I recommend Michael Hyatt’s Life Planning process, which enables you to think through each element of your life and consider who you wish to be and what you wish to give yourself to. It’s available here.

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