Wednesday, January 18, 2023

No Margin of Time

Yesterday my printer malfunctioned and was printing out all kinds of letters, numbers, and symbols, and it wouldn’t stop. After printing several pages, I finally unplugged the power cord. The printer was filling up nearly the entire page. There were no margins on the top, bottom, or either side. It was stressful to look at it and gave me low-grade anxiety.

One of Webster’s dictionary definitions for margin is “a spare amount or measure or degree allowed or given for contingencies or special situations.” Many of us live such busy lives that we have no time margin whatsoever, and we have little to no time buffer or spare time between appointments, to-dos, and the busyness of our lives.

Here's the piece of paper. Please excuse the coffee stains ;)

Many of our lives look a lot like that piece of paper. No extra time. No extra space. No extra in our margins. We must widen our time margins.

In Ephesians 5:15-17 Paul writes, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

According to this passage, wise people will redeem and use their time wisely, understand the will of God, and they will live this way circumspectly- with accuracy and diligence.

Several months ago, I decided to stop playing video games. I enjoy playing them, but I tend to get hyper-focused on my interests, and they can eat up a lot of my time if I’m not careful. I will often cut myself off from social media for a month or more at a time as well. We need to be mindful of our interests to keep things in balance.

No more video games was challenging at first, but after a couple of weeks of using my time more wisely and creating new habits and it wasn’t too difficult. Soon after making these new habits, I was hired to help start a men’s soccer program at Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji and could take that on without having to find or create much more time in my schedule. I was thankful I had already taken the Ephesians passage to heart and had more time!

Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

The Lord wants to teach us and help us manage our time and schedules in order to gain wisdom and do all He created us to do. Many things demand our time, so we must be intentional in our choices, so our time is filled with what matters most!

The time is now; shake the earth!

- Joel

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