How available are you to God’s unexpected encounters? Do you intentionally leave extra space around the edges of your life for spontaneous assignments?
Or do you stay so scheduled, each day carefully planned out, that when the unplanned happens, you have nowhere to put it?
“Margin is not a spiritual necessity. But availability is.
“God expects us to be available for the needs of others.
“And without margin, each of us would have great difficulty guaranteeing availability. Instead, when God calls, He gets the busy signal.”
– Richard Swenson, Margin
I tend to live very scheduled.
Because I accomplish more when I stick to a schedule, I like to stick to a schedule.
But that means God can get a busy signal when he calls me (if you’re old enough to remember what a busy signal is on a landline phone!). It’s a consistent battle I fight.
My to-do list often exceeds my available time.
- I want to clean out my laundry room,
- I want to convert my home VHS videos to digital formats, and
- I want to schedule lunch dates with friends to catch up.
But I don’t have enough time. My schedule is already full.
I’m trying to break free of rigidity.
To be free for flexibility.
To be available for God’s use.
I want to continue using the love of organization that God planted in me—it can be used for his glory—but I don’t want to turn a strength into a weakness.
I don’t want to out-schedule God.
So I keep looking for ways to build more margin in my life. For now, that means letting go of other things.
- The file cabinets can stay disorganized a little longer,
- The flower beds can continue growing more grass than flowers, and
- Cleaning the closets can be postponed another few months.
Because when God calls, I want to be free to pick up.
I want to be available.
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How do you create space for the unexpected? Please share in the comments.
Maybe I need to reread Margin. Here are my notes from the first reading.
revised from the archives
- Are You Too Sensitive?
- Don’t Jump to Conclusions; Jump to Grace