Definition of margin:

1: the part of a page or sheet outside the main body of printed or written matter

2: the outside limit and adjoining surface of something: edge at the margin of the woods continental margin

3 a: a spare amount or measure or degree allowed or given for contingencies or special situations left no margin for error

b (1): a bare minimum below which or an extreme limit beyond which something becomes impossible or is no longer desirable on the margin of good taste (2): the limit below which economic activity cannot be continued under normal conditions

c: an area, state, or condition excluded from or existing outside the mainstream

“Margin” is a word that can be defined in a variety of ways.  I want to use it here in the sense of creating “a spare amount” of space in our lives.  Creating margins for ourselves is not something that our culture is particularly good at.  We like to stay busy.  We are proud of being busy.  It signifies that we aren’t being lazy, that we have a lot of important stuff going on.  I think we equate being busy with being successful.  In ministry, we are sometimes busy because there is an endless list of things to get done and people to minister to.

When we create margins in our life we are saying that there is a limit, an edge to the things we fill our time up with, we are creating space.  The hours of any given day are filled with endless things that demand our attention.  After our jobs then there is tv, Facebook or other social media, the internet, emails to catch up on, bills to pay maybe homework to do and finally sleep.  Where do we fit in time for our spiritual life,  what part of the day does Jesus get? Being intentional in our walk with Jesus requires making space in our hectic schedules, creating margins.

Judean Wilderness with the Dead Sea in the distance

Many times a day that had the potential to be bad and hectic has been filled with peace because I was intentional to take time at the start to focus my heart and mind on that which matters most, Jesus.  Jesus did the same in Mark 1.  Jesus is surrounded by people wanting his attention, wanting to be healed.  his renown was starting to spread and Mark writes in 1:35-36 “And rising very early in the morning while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and thee he prayed.  And Simon and those who were with him searched for him…

Jesus created space to spend time alone with God on a regular basis probably on a daily basis.  If Jesus needed to have margins how much more do we need margins?  If Jesus needed to go to a place where he could quiet his soul, how much more do we need it?

Luke 5:15-16: But now, even more, the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities.  But he would withdraw to desolate placed and pray.

What do you need to say “no” to in order to create space in your day for God?