Living on the edge or life on the edge maybe exciting if you are an adventure junky, but it really is not the best way to live on a continuous basis. I recently became familiar with an awesome book called “Margin.” I have known about the book for quite awhile, but just got a copy of it. It’s a great book and a powerful message about margin and the lack of it in our world today. Dr. Swenson says that the conditions of modern day living “devour margin.”
What is margin? Margin is having breathing room, extra reserves in life and quite different than living on the edge. Having margin in life is having “breath at the top of the staircase, money at the end of the month and sanity at the end of adolescence. Margin-less living is being thirty minutes late to the doctor’s office, because you were twenty minutes late getting out of the hairdresser, because you were ten minutes late dropping the children off at school, because the car ran out of gas two blocks from a gas station and you forgot your purse.” Sadly, that describes too many people. In other words many people are living without any margin or reserve in their life.
What is the price that we are paying for living without margin? What is the price we are paying emotionally, mentally and physically by overcrowding our schedules, eating fast food and junk food on the run, living beyond our means and basically doing life in the “fast lane”? Well, if you don’t have any reserves in the health arena, a major illness could take you out. If you don’t have any financial reserves, a major event or expenditure could wipe you out. If you don’t ever have any time to develop your spiritual life or develop friendships, you have nothing to draw on emotionally or spiritually when life gets complicated or tough.
Maybe it’s time to slow down, re-think some things, let go of some things, learn to say “no” and get our life back. What would it be like, if we began to become intentional about creating some margin or reserve in our life? What would it be like to see that creating margin or reserve is not only getting our sanity back, but a lot like investments that we are making in our health accounts, financial and relational accounts for future withdrawals of good health, sanity and peace of mind? Something to consider!