(A few friends and I are reading this book together. Each week we are reading one chapter. On Fridays, I am posting my comments, then giving them the opportunity to add their thoughts as well. If you would like to join us or simply find out more about the book, you can read about it here.)
Chapter 6: "Margin"
- After laying the groundwork for the first five chapters, the author starts to explain what margin is.
- If "the limit" is the full amount we can handle, then "overload" is anything exceeds that limit and "margin" is the amount of cushion between our load and our limit. Boy, do I ever need to learn to insert that cushion!
- "We don't want to be under-achievers ... so we fill our schedules uncritically." (Page 69) What then happens? We have SO much in our schedule that we can't get it all done, and we still feel like under-achievers. Also, unimportant things get in our schedule and we accomplish those instead of the most important things.
- I agree that margin is semivisible in an of itself, but often the results of a lack of margin are visible- exhaustion, etc.
- I appreciated him pointing out that we have always needed margin, just that now we often do not have it, while they often did in the past. Hence, it is something we need to think about and purposefully implement in our lives, while those in the past had margin without thinking about it specifically.
- I don't think margin is the ONE thing that causes us to look at the past nostalgically, but I think it is a big factor. I remember my mom telling about her childhood. After supper, they would often visit neighbors or neighbors would visit them. The adults would sit on the porch and talk and the kids would play. People were not lazy, they just had margin. How often does that happen in America now? I also agree that developing countries still have an amount of margin. Just come visit Moldova in the summer. About 8-9 pm you will hear lots of noise in the street: people talking, kids playing. I'm sure it is even more visible in the villages. People have margin, and it manifests itself in the time they have to be with others.
- An important quote for US to consider: "When you combine missionary [or church-planting, or assistant pastor] conscientiousness with imported Americanized schedules, and home-office expectations with Third-World need, climate, and disease, burnout is an ever-present risk." (Page 76). The question is not whether this is present. The question is what we are going to do about it. The following chapters will help us establish it!
I've had my say, what say you?
Discussion on Chapter 5
Discussion on Chapter 7