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No Margin for Error
Theme of the Week: Taking Care of Busyness
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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Key Bible Verse: It's useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don't you know [God] enjoys giving rest to those he loves? (Psalm 127:2, The Message)

Dig Deeper: Ecclesiastes 2:18-25

Years ago, I listened to an interview with Richard Swenson about the concept of "margin." There's nothing uniquely Christian about the idea itself, but there is something very un-Christian about ignoring it. "Margin," Swenson says, "is the space between our load and our limits." Planning for margin means planning for the unplanned. It means we understand what's possible for us as finite creatures and then we schedule for less than that.

Over the past year I've come to see that I plan no margin in my weeks—reverse margin, actually. I look at my week, and before any interruptions come or any new opportunities arise or any setbacks occur, I have no idea how to get everything done. I see the meetings scheduled, the sermons to be prepared, the e-mails I need to write, the blogs I need to post, the projects I need to complete, the people I need to see, and I figure that if everything goes a little better than expected, it can be squeezed in. But, of course, there are no ideal weeks, and so I end up with no margin to absorb the surprises. So I hunker down, get harried, and get busy. That's alI I can do in the moment because I didn't plan better weeks before.

—Kevin DeYoung in Crazy Busy

My Response: What are the dangers of a work and life schedule with no margin planned in?

Thought to Apply: [God] is always whispering to us, only we do not always hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.—Frederick Faber (British hymn writer, theologian)

Adapted from Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung (Crossway, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, forgive me for those times I've crammed too much into my life and schedule. Forgive me when I've made work more important than family and friends. Most of all, help me to slow down and rest daily in your presence.

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Curt Schleicher

August 26, 2014  12:17pm

The main danger as i see it is letting frustration set in as i don't accomplish my goals. i won't allow my strengths to be utilized to their fullest.

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ANTHONY Swaggerty

August 26, 2014  6:20am

Yes a great word to be reminded of. Margin, plan it in our days so we have slow down and live, re-focus look out and see the opportunities that exist all around us to be boosted. Amen M.O.I. thank you

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