Building Margin Into Your Life
by Rick Warren
A lot of people are on overload and headed for a crash. Consider these statistics among U.S. citizens:• People now sleep 2 1/2 fewer hours each night compared to people from one hundred years ago.
• The average work week is longer now than it was in the 1960s.
• The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.
• We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people who are too busy to answer, and five years waiting for people who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings.
We're a piled-on, stretched-to-the limit society; chronically rushed, chronically late, chronically exhausted. Many of us feel like Job did when he said, "I have no peace! I have no quiet! I have no rest! And trouble keeps coming."
Overload comes when we have too much activity in our lives, too much change, too many choices, too much work, too much debt, too much media exposure.
Dr. Richard Swenson says, "The conditions of modern day living devour margin. If you're homeless we direct you to a shelter. If you're penniless we offer you food stamps. If you're breathless we connect you to oxygen. But if you're marginless we give you one more thing to do.
Marginless is being thirty minutes late to the doctor's office because you were twenty minutes late getting out of the hairdresser because you were ten minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from a gas station and you forgot your purse. That's marginless."
You need margin in your life. When you're not hurrying and worrying all the time, you have time to think. Time to relax. Time to enjoy life. Time to be still and know that God is God.
Pastor Rick Warren is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life.