“So, how’s it going?”
“Covered up, man. I don’t feel like I can find enough hours in the day.”
“I know what you mean.”
Have conversations like this? I do. All the time. In spite of technology’s promise to make life simpler, it seems we’re more “covered up” than ever. Instead of leaving work or school behind at the end of the day, it now follows us more easily than ever. There is a lot to be said for being able to work from a mobile platform , but it also means that those responsibilities are never more than a click or swipe away.
I understand I am as guilty of this as anyone. But I also realize just how important it is to maintain margins in our lives.
I can’t tell you how many times I have felt guilty taking any vacation days over the years. As a pastor there is always someone who needs you, a problem that needs to be solved, a question that needs answered. Regardless of your vocation (or place in school), your situation is likely the same. For someone who feels like they have to help everyone, fix every problem, and do it all well, it can be exhausting. Make no mistake–God always empowers us to do what He calls us to, without a doubt. But He also is clear that there is a need for rest. A need for margins.
The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron demonstrates skill on such a high level it seems almost supernatural. To say that such aerobatics requires precision and attention to detail is an understatement of laughable proportions. When you are flying jets in formation inches apart from one another at several hundred miles an hour the margins are extremely tight, and it is important to know your position at all times. In order to operate at that level, the pilots must always be at their very best.
What happens when there are no margins? There is no room for error. Like flying with the Blue Angels, only never coming in for a landing. Without a break, your skill level eventually becomes irrelevant. Inevitably, you run into something, more often than not damaging someone else in the process.
I don’t have the all the answers, but I have one for you today: make sure you have some margin in your life. Go for a walk. Go get a cup of coffee. Take some time and read something you want to read instead of something you have to. You will gain a lot by giving yourself some short-term margin. It may just help you get a perspective on how to gain some long-term margin as well.