Last week I blogged about “Margin” – you can read it here. Our Pastor, Dale Robble, with Highland Park Church is doing a series inspired by the book Margin, Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson, MD.
Margin is defined as: the amount available beyond what is necessary. The difference between what you have and what you need. This could be time, money, relationships, food, meetings…you get the point.
So how do you schedule margin? How do we schedule WISELY?
We need to learn to say “NO” to many GOOD things, so we can say “YES” to the BEST things!
Read that again…absorb it. Yes! Sometimes we need to say NO to something GOOD so we can say YES to something BETTER!
“Busy”ness does NOT equal productivity. Boy…this is a lesson that’s been reinforced many times over to me. I am learning to focus my own “busy”ness with the goal of increasing my productivity by diligently using a consistent to-do list. When my children were young and very busy with extracurricular activities, in addition to driving the Mom-taxi, I was also a working mother, my husband was growing our retail business…I thought I was a great multi-tasker. In fact, I was phenomenal!
I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~Bill Cosby
What I have since learned is that multi-tasking is a myth. It’s literally impossible to give your full and undivided attention to more than one task at a time. Sure, I was doing a lot. I was accomplishing much. But was I doing ANY of it to the best of my abilities? I bet NOT!
I remember in the ’70’s when personal computers were being developed and envisioned with awe by many…we were told that our lives would become so much simpler. We’d be able to accomplish MORE in LESS time.
In fact, today, I’ll argue that the reverse is our current reality. The bar of expected productivity has been raised. And raised HIGH. We now have multiple computers in our homes, we have cell phones, most people have smart phones, our jobs often expect us to be accessible 24/7 . We are yoked constantly to the electronic gadgets which were supposed to bring us REST!
I have learned through experience that I cannot be all things to all people. And if I try, I will certainly fail. Instead of being a source of support, light, energy and love…I become a drain. And that is not fun for anyone involved. Me included.
So back to Dale’s lesson…too many people are being robbed from a life of meaning NOT because they are UNCOMMITTED, but because they are OVERCOMMITTED.
- Just because you COULD do something…does not mean you SHOULD do something.
- “No” – IS a complete sentence…I love this!! You don’t have to say it rudely…just smile and say “No”.
- You HAVE time for what you CHOOSE to have time for!
Finally…there are two things that are phenomenally important to your success and your relationship with God…and we are nothing without our relationship with God.
- We must have intimate TIME with God.
- We must have intentional times of REST.
Again…I amazed at how the universe (God for me) is speaking to us all the time. We have but to listen. In all of the self-development work I’ve been doing with mentors such as Anthony Robbins, Dave & Yvette Ulloa, Rich German…I’ve been learning the importance of spending time in prayer and meditation. This time of bible study, intercessory prayer, mental and physical quiet…allows me to listen and rest. It’s very centering.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear; and the burden I give you is light”. ~Matthew 11:28-30
God wants us to live a life of peace and rest. Even God worked 6 days and rested on the 7th. Jesus took time for Himself when he was on this earth. He spent time in prayer. He got away from the crowds. He found rest.
Dale challenged us to spend 10 minutes a day in quiet communion with God. I have been spending time in prayer and meditation on an inconsistent basis. I will be adding this to my to-do list. I WILL be scheduling this time. I CHOOSE to find the time.
I choose to yoke myself to my God instead of all my electronic gadgets.
I encourage you to do the same. Let me know how it goes for you…