Have you ever read a book with minimal margins? I haven’t seen one and I don’t know for sure that one exists but just imagine one with me.
What about a life with minimal margins?
We all have different margin needs. All the things listed here are great things. But there are things missing too. And, likely, over time or in different circumstances our needs for margins change. I know mine have. Different stages of life have different demands. But when I am running from one thing to the next and I don’t have any space built in, I run ragged. I am definitely not as patient. And I am not as open to possibly wonderful things because they don’t fit into my schedule. I don’t have time to be sick or visit with a friend who might be unexpectedly passing through town or even notice God trying to get my attention.
I can’t live like that.
I don’t believe many people can. Making space in our day, in our week, and in our lives is important. Sometimes we need to space to regroup. Sometimes we need the space to recharge. Sometimes we need the space because it is important “to be” without any expectation of producing anything. And while God can work in any circumstance, there are times that a quiet space is where we are able to see Him working. It clears my mind and cleanses my perspective. Creating space to pray, play, or simply rest is so important! If I have no margins, there is no room to move.
But that isn’t exactly how our world tends to think. It is easy to get caught up in the gain, the advance, the conquer….and sometimes we lose ourselves in the process. Respite from the world’s demands and times to ponder and pray can make our days, our nights, and our responses more informed, more measured, and more calm.
When things are feeling a little crazy for me, I take stock of all I am trying to juggle and I usually see that I need to make some adjustments in my schedule. It is important to evaluate and adjust according to my current circumstances. So, here I am, still clinging to this verse from Psalm 46:10. It reminds me that I am not wonder woman and I am not God. I don’t know it all. I don’t have to do it all. It gives me permission to “be still” and rest in my knowledge of God!
On the Road,
When we headed out on this trip we left winter in New York. I knew we were going to warmer weather so I didn’t pack a lot of clothes for cold temperatures. Sometimes, what it’s like where you have been isn’t at all how it will be where you are going.
Do you need what you have?
Do you have what you need?
What is essential for the journey? I find that I like to have quite a few things along with me when I travel “just in case”. Trying to be prepared for a trip and all possible scenarios of need can be exhausting. Of course, when I “need” something and I have it along, I am thrilled to know I am prepared. But trying to find it in the special place I tucked it away? Good luck! There is nothing worse than being prepared but being unable to find the item.
Is it possible to prepare for every potential situation?
I try to make sure I have the basics and then be resourceful with what I have. But there are too many times I rely on my preparedness instead of relying on God and His provisions. I need to trust that God’s provisions will be enough to meet the needs of the day.
What is it you need for today?
I loved the reminder that showed up for me this morning. I was searching for the word “need” in the Bible and this verse from Exodus made an appearance:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
I know that “being still” is a challenge for me which is why it is a focus for me during this Lenten season. Have you settled on a verse or two to focus on? Have you had the principles for those verses show up in unexpected places?
Heavenly Father, help me to accept Your provisions for this day. Amen.
On the Road,
I was thinking about the verse I want to rest upon during Lent. There will be a lot of movement in my life in the upcoming months so this one seems appropriate:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
And this one is always good to keep in mind because while we are not “of this world” we certainly are here in this world for a purpose:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15
But here is where I have settled:
We are often coming and going and not taking enough time to reflect, rest, and be restored. The focus for 2017 Lenten PrayerPoints will be devotional thoughts that relate to being “On the Road”. Certainly, a part of traveling means rest and standing still. Sometimes we choose our times of “still” and other times we do not. “Being still” might be an uncomfortable place to be–especially if someone is known as a “doer”.
If you decide to have a verse or chapter or book of the Bible to focus on during this season of Lent, I would love to hear what it is! Write it out, sketch it out, go to canva.com and create some digital art, or do whatever you need to do to connect with the verse and tuck it away in your heart and mind. And then pay attention! Whenever I do this, I see God’s connecting points for me in conversations with others, in sermons, in songs, and in my life. Ruminating on Scripture is always a good idea.
I am praying for all of us as we journey with God and spend time with Him during this season. May He find hearts willing to learn, grow, and change to reflect His love and grace and forgiveness more accurately. As we travel through life we will meet many travelers. We can give more to others when we ourselves are refreshed.
On the Road!
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Have you ever noticed it is really hard to find a quiet place to be with God? There always seems to be some level of sound; the furnace fan, the hum from an electronic device, a drip, drip, drip from a faucet, or a bird chirping. Sometimes our minds have a difficult time finding quiet because so many things call for our attention and we mentally run through to-do lists. Distractions are everywhere but are reduced significantly if we at least find a quiet place.
Not too long ago, there was a time when stores weren’t open on Sunday. Youth sports events were never held on Sundays. Families stayed home and had a day of quiet. Sunday was a day of Sabbath rest. How quickly it happens that every moment we have is filled with busy-ness and noise. Are we so busy that we don’t have time to take a break?
Let me encourage you to take some time today to be still with God. Just you and God and your Bible. It is hard to steal away those moments, but it can be such a time of refreshment, honesty, insight, and peace. Let God speak to you through His Word. Let Him shed a new light on your circumstance and breath His Spirit into your soul.
Remember, we are human beings, not human doings….take time to be with God! Be refreshed, renewed, and encouraged. Take refuge in Him!
Psalm 16 is a great Psalm to ponder!