Margins Vs. Margin

randomlychad  —  April 2, 2012 — 10 Comments

If you’ve been around here recently, you will have noticed that I’ve been feeling a bit squeezed.

Well, ok–a little more than a bit: quite a lot, actually. And there are reasons for this; chiefly:

The lack of margin. I have a life–as you do, too–that’s rather full of pressing urgencies–the tyranny of the merely urgent, if you will.

Mine have to do with work, family, parenting–in short, normal life life obligations that seem to have taken over, and squeezed the life out of me. (Don’t get me wrong: I love my family).

For example, when my wife and I don’t take the time to slow down, spend some quiet together, things get… (If you’re married, you know). We get short, terse–there’s a palpable tension coloring the tenor of our home.

Why is this? I suspect, again like you, that we are so busy doing our respective duties that we forget to breath. We lay aside the things that nourish our souls for the sake of getting that next thing done, making that next play in Words With Friends. 😉 We are living in the margins–instead of building in a margin.

Filling our lives with marginalia, rather than filling in the page. I suspect we are not alone in this.

How about you? Are you in the margin, or building in margins?




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • Kind of like what Dave Ramsey says….you need to build that emergency fund.

    • Exactly--or you’ll be stretched thin: whether it be financially, relationally, emotionally, spiritually.

      We need to live with margins--not in the margins. Think of all the times the Lord Jesus drew apart to a solitary place to refresh Himself in the Father. That’s the idea.

      • Nice use of the word “stretched”.

        Yes, I often feel as though I’m living in the margins. With two middle schoolers, a job, and even lots of church activities, I sometimes wonder when I’ll get to breath.

        • Thanks!

          This post had its genesis in something I heard at church last Saturday:
          30 years ago, when they started the church, our pastor and his wife would deliver cookies to visitors. Because it was a crazy time in their lives (starting a church), they did it together. Every Monday night--for two hours. It was their way, at the time, of having margin.

          30 years later, they’re still married, and the church has grown beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

  • Ricky Anderson

    I’m sorry. I read Words With Friends and had to check my games. Kinda sidetracked me from the rest of the post.

  • My brain gets a little confused when people talk about margins metaphorically. Real margins are for doodling, so I’m not sure what that means metaphorically. Maybe that they’re meant for Words with Friends time?

  • TJ

    “We are living in the margins–instead of building in a margin…filling our lives with marginalia, rather than filling in the page.” That’s good stuff. It makes me think about how I can be intentional about what I’m doing…

    • Thanks much, TJ! And welcome!

      I find there’s a lot that I do that’s just gap-filler. I need to be more intentional--hence this post.