The BEMA Podcast

Love God. Love others. Become people of the Text.

Looking for Margin

Alright, let’s talk about one of the things I’m struggling with in this sabbatical. This won’t have any poetic resolution or instructive conclusions. I’m not necessarily looking for feedback, although you’re welcome to send it. I would covet your prayers and I am looking to be honest with myself.

I’m struggling to find margin.

I know this seems like a space where 90% of us live. I’m frustrated because this is something I preach to others and those I mentor. I’m frustrated because I pride myself on being a person of discipline and a person who is able to make “the tough decisions” — and I feel like creating margin is usually just an issue of being unwilling to make tough decisions.

But I’ve been working on this for a couple years and I’m really, really struggling to find margin. One of my great prayer partners (Hi, Jim!) is always praying that I would find time to sit in Jesus’s lap and just spend time with Him. I love this prayer request. I yearn for it.

So why am I always running full blast, trying to accomplish my to-do list each week? How come I always crash into Sabbath completely wasted and exhausted?

It’s been years since I’ve seen this as some American, “hard work” virtue. I don’t think stumbling into Sabbath rest with nothing left is some equivalent to spiritually “leaving it all on the field.” Actually quite the opposite. If we leave it all on the spiritual field, I would assume we are more rested, because we literally left a bunch on the field — unaccomplished. We gave those things over to the Coach to do with as He pleases, and we’ve found a better relationship.

So here I am, the great teacher and podcaster, and I’m struggling to do the basic stuff. I’m not defeated. I just want to be honest. I wish I had more time to simply sit down for five minutes in my workday and pray over the next thing I’m going to do. To look out the window and smile and listen and hear the voice of the Shepherd. The fact that this isn’t true tells you I still need to be shaped and formed in this Sabbatical!

Before I’m done with this Sabbatical journey, let’s talk more about this and what we’ve learned, OK?