Thankfulness: Margin

I feel like there are two types of note-takers: those who stay in the lines and those who fill up every inch of the paper. When taking notes, I do all I can to avoid crossing that little red boundary line on the notebook paper; I like to keep my margins clean so I can fill them in later if needed. My note-taking methods would probably give heart palpitations to all of you Type-A people. I start out being very intentional, leaving plenty of room, but by the end, I have used the entire page: margins, headers, everything. I rarely leave space on the page if I can help it.

I feel like our lives are similar. We can start out by intentionally giving ourselves some degree of margin, knowing the importance of time with family, time for ourselves, time for hobbies, and time for relaxation. But, over the course of time, whether it takes weeks or months, our schedules begin to clutter up. As work projects flood in or relationships blossom or family and friend obligations pile up, we can watch our precious margin slowly slip away from us.

Margin that isn’t fought for will be lost.

I’ve heard it said that you’ll never have more time to spend with God than you did today. Every time I hear that, it hurts my heart a little bit. I could’ve spent more time with Him today by waking up a few minutes earlier or by reading my Bible instead of watching an episode of TV or by praying on my way to work instead of listening to radio drivel. I don’t always fight for my time with God or for my commitment to life-giving relationships and pursuits. I don’t always use my margin well.

I am beginning to grow more and more thankful for the precious moments of margin I do have. I believe this is the first step to using my time more wisely. If you’re not thankful for something you’re sure to neglect it, so I’m choosing to be thankful for the margin in my life. As I grow more and more thankful for it and see the benefits in my life and the lives of others, I believe I will become more intentional to fight for that precious space.

What do the margins of your life look like right now? What’s one step you can take this week to add some margin into your schedule?

Lord, you are the creator and holder of time. You had the creativity and ingenuity to give us time and days and months and years. Forgive us when we’ve let less important things crowd out the most important things, namely our time with you. Thank you that you are there for us no matter the time, day or night, always willing to listen to us, even when we don’t deserve it. Please encourage and strengthen us as we intentionally choose to make room in our schedule. Bless us as we fight for margin and maximize our time with you! Amen!

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