FLAPPING LIKE CRAZY, JUST NOT GETTING ANYWHERE.
Life was frenetic in my 30’s to 50’s and it suited me. Not so my wife, but, bless her heart, she stuck with it. Yes, I could slow down to read. I’m glad because two books changed my life. Sacred Romance by Curtis and Eldredge set in motion a whole life perspective and deep involvement with the Ransomed Heart gang. Most of you know about Wild at Heart, et. al. So let me tease you with the other book, Margin by Swenson.
You’ll get Dr. Richard Swenson’s theme quickly. But, honestly, you really do need to get his book (or books; several around this theme). This guy said exactly what I needed at just the right moment. It was as if he was God’s mouthpiece. Here it is for me during that hyper-adrenal period:
Gary, you live without margin. Get some. Every day is a page in the story you write for yourself even before you wake, and it goes from one edge to the other, from top to bottom. What if your family had a need? If you even recognized it, where would you stuff it in today’s Big Page? And how about God? You follow Him, right? How does He get a word in edgewise…when there is no edge, no margin. Are you going to give Him a slot a couple of pages away? What if they or He wants to engage you like now?
Problem 1: I was writing my own story, a noble, honorable, godly one. All the while, I knew it was the Lord God I was serving who really had the last word. I was stuffing all the words possible on my life’s page. I was supposed to be living in His Grand Story, the one the Council of the Godhead dreamed up and wrote for me even before they started the clock of time.
Problem 2: I had been writing in HIS margins. His story for me was excellent. Better than mine. By far. And His had wide margins. Gives a chance to put notes, even love notes, here and there. “NB,” Noto bono in God’s handwriting started showing up. His notes change everything.
In regular, less poetic terms, my discovery of margin (the book gives frightening data and examples) was something like, “Slow Down.” Only better. I’d heard that rant almost every day, but zipping about doing good faster than the speed of sound, the words were muffled.
One story closes this teaser. It happened suddenly on one drive from the ranch to town. I drove 45. The speed limit was 55. I usually drove 65 unless I was in a hurry. I was always in a hurry. I actually (this means I am NOT kidding you) saw things on the 15 minute drive (formerly 10 swish-by minutes) I’d never seen…spring flowers, snow still on Pikes Peak, two Elk hanging across the meadow in the tree line. I remember breathing softly when I told God, “Thank you.”
One story more, a bonus. My wife noticed. I have, since, lived a still full life, but I leave plenty of margin. When I got to the laid-back but productive leg of the journey (my indolent neighbors call it “retirement”), I said I only wanted two goals to drive me. (Wow, not 16?!) I wanted to love God more and better and I wanted to love my wife and family more and better. Very, very big margin in that story.
MAY I ASK?
1. WHOSE STORY DO YOU LIVE IN? YOURS OR HIS? HOW’S THAT WORKING FOR YOU?
2. GOT MARGIN? WHO MOSTLY WRITES IN IT?
Tell us about it.