Blog Spotlight – LeadingSmart – Tim Stevens – A Space for Margin

One of the many blogs I follow on a regular basis is by Tim Stevens who is the executive pastor at Granger Community Church.  Tim writes a lot about leadership.  I’ve really appreciated his wisdom as I’ve followed him over the past few years.

Last week, Tim wrote about the importance of making space for margins in our lives.  His post (below) really resonated with me.  Our family often seems to be running from one activity to the next.  We pack our calendars so full of stuff that we don’t leave time for rest, relaxation, and more importantly for God to intervene in the spaces that surround our lives.  Events at our home over the past couple of months have forced us to take a brave new look at how we organize our time.  Tim’s post couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.



I’ve been thinking a lot about margin.

A margin is the portion of the page that you intentionally leave blank. You don’t write all the way from the left side of the page to the right side—no, you typically leave space all the way around, and we call those margins.

Yet in life, everything in our culture is telling us to ignore margins. Spend more money than you make and you will have no financial margin. Fill your schedule from early morning until late night—and you will have no time margin. Surround yourself with needy people and be constantly reactive to their expectations—and you will have no emotional margin.

Mark Batterson wrote, “You need margin to think. You need margin to play. You need margin tolaugh. You need margin to dream. You need margin to have impromptu conversations. You need margin to seize unanticipated opportunities.”

I want to live a life with margins.

When I live on less than I make, I have the financial margin so an unexpected expense won’t capsize me, and so I can respond in the moment to someone else’s real need.

When every moment of my life is scheduled, I don’t have the margin to stop and listen to someone who needs an ear; I don’t have the time to jump in and help a neighbor fix their sprinkler; or don’t have the flexibility to go to my kids sporting event that was scheduled at the last minute.

Margin makes you pleasant; no margin makes you grumpy.

Margin allows you to be generous; no margin makes you Scrooge-like.

Margin helps you listen; without margin, you come across like someone who doesn’t care.

Margin gives you the space to learn, grow and dream; without margin and you become stale and empty.

Margin increases the chance you will hear the still small voice of God when He speaks;  without margin and you might continue through life without the blessing of God.

Where are you feeling the lack of margin in your life? What should change?