Margin…..Do You Need Some?

Margin: “The space between your load and your limits, rest and exhaustion, breathing freely and suffocating. The amount beyond that which is and that which is needed. Margin is like oxygen- everybody needs some.” This paraphrase from Dr. Richard Swenson, MD sums up margin pretty well, doesn’t it? It did for me.

The reality is that a lack of Margin most frequently manifests itself in two key areas: our time and our finances. The other reality is this: No one is going to walk up to you and give you more margin. You are responsible for making sure you have what you need and then setting the boundaries for yourself and others to ensure you have it.

There is a LOT that can be said and that needs to be said about margin. There is even more that needs to be done about it our lives. Others have done a great job of discussing margin in both the written word, in messages, blogs as well as in podcasts. I encourage you to access those resources for more detail, especially if you feel like you could use some breathing room right now.

Sometimes we lack margin and don’t even know it because we are on an adrenaline high, which masks the price we are paying. I really like the simple two-fold test below (thanks John Free) to determine if we have a problem with our margin or are approaching the danger zone in the two areas where it affects us most:

1. Money: Are you giving charitably or tithing and have some left over?

2. Time: Are you taking a day off or Sabbathing and have some left over?

Perhaps another is: Have you experienced a feeling of freedom within yourself in the last week like the picture of this woman conveys?

If your answer isn’t yes to both those questions then yes, you do need some margin. Now, what is the first next step you need to take to get some?