You get your money’s worth at a buffet if you go up at least three times. I’m pretty good at getting to the third plate because it’s about pacing. Unfortunately, I can’t carry my strategy over to Thanksgiving dinner. There’s just something about getting to dessert that feels like running the last 3 miles of a marathon. I know my problem is pacing and the fact that I fill up on mash potatoes and cranberry sauce. In the end leaving room for the the sweet pumpkin and apple pie seems impossible.
When you don’t leave enough room, not only do you sacrifice greatness but you risk disaster. To create the capacity to do great things in our ministry we have to have a plan for margin, especially in these four areas:
- Time – By planning for extra time, you allow room for the Holy Spirit to work through your ministry. If you over plan and over book you are taking complete control of a situation which will only lead to failure and possibly burnout.
- Risk – Failure is not great, no one likes to fail, but embracing the possibility of failure means embracing the ability to dream big and take risks. If you don’t leave room for risk and play it too safe you will miss big opportunities.
- Family – Not all of us are married so this might be irrelevant to some, but planning room for family is essential. Here’s the trick, don’t squeeze family into your schedule, instead squeeze your schedule into family time. When you leave room for family you show your support system and cheer team that you value and love them.
- God – Again it’s not about squeezing God into our schedule but squeezing our lives into God’s plan for us. The way you make room for God is by making room in your heart. When you fall in love with someone, you find that the obstacles will melt away. By pursuing God in your choices and thoughts you begin to carve room for Him in your heart.
You can live life on the fly, you can try to do it all, but all you are living is in chaos. God wants us to leave room so that the Spirit can move us. God wants us to leave room so His dreams and vision can work in our lives. Life isn’t about doing, it’s not always about quantity, life is about allowing God to use you as much as possible.
In which of these four areas do you need to give more room? How do you build margin into your life?