I learned to type on a Royal® manual typewriter. One important lesson was learning to listen for the bell that signaled it was time to use the return lever and start another line. When the bell dinged, I only had a few spaces I could type before I’d be outside the margin and soon typing on the paper roll instead of the paper. My second year of typing, I graduated to an electric typewriter but still had to listen for the ding so I could press the return key to advance to the next line. The bells kept me from typing in the margin.
Margin is extra space on the sides, headers, and footers of paper that one doesn’t type on. With word processors, it can easily be increased or reduced. Whether a greater or lesser amount, margin is still extra room.
Jesus encouraged us to create margin in our lives so we could do two very important things. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31 NLT)
Busyness is the arch enemy of relationships—with God and with others. Just as the ding of the old typewriter helped me maintain margin on the paper, so I must listen for God’s still small voice reminding me to leave time for others—my spouse, my children, my friends, my church family, unsaved acquaintances…Him.
When I maintain margin, my priorities are more likely to stay in order, and this will help me remember my purpose in life to love God and others. Everything else flows from these two directives that God holds me accountable for.
Have you created enough margin so you have time to serve God and love others through practical acts of service? With God’s help, you can.
Prayer: Merciful God, guide us to wide enough life margins that we might have time to love You completely and serve others sacrificially.
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