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Paying Attention

March 5, 2009

Twice in this last week, I read about having “margin” in your schedule.  Once was in a devotion, and once in an e-book I downloaded on homeschooling, based on the writings of a woman from a hundred years ago.  Then, this morning, I went to read in a marriage book and…margin in your schedule pops up again.

Hmm.   I have written on this subject myself before, and counseled women to leave breathing room in their schedules.  I’ve never heard it called “margin” before, though.  When I received the devotion, I thought, well here’s a new way to say that.  And of course, I thought of a couple people that really need to read that devotion. 

Then, yesterday in the e-book.  That’s interesting.  Charlotte Mason, who lived in the late 1800’s was writing about margin.  Guess it’s not a new thing.  Upon further reading, I discovered it was the modern author who used the word, margin.  Mason had referred to it as leisure.  Well, still.

So, this morning, after my prayer time, I’m reading in my marriage book and they tell me that not having margin in your life can cause you to be irritable. 

Hmm.  I definitely know a few people who need to read that.  By now, though, I’m starting to think. Okay, three times in a couple days, God?  Maybe it’s…me that needs to read that!  So I prayed and searched my heart and now I must confess, there is a slight lack of margin in certain areas of my life. 

It’s not a huge problem, and easily fixed now that it’s been brought to my attention.  But margin isn’t what this is about.  It’s about my own dense and sometimes stubborn head.  Yes, too many times I’ve been guilty of having a message wash over me time and time again, like a wave crashing on the beach.  Instead of applying it to my life or searching my heart, I don’t catch on right away or worse, think only of others who need to hear it.

I am thankful that this time, I caught on in a couple of days.  Instead of laying on the sand, letting the waves of you need leisure in your life sneak up closer and closer before finally crashing over me, I sat up and listened, and moved back a little bit.  For once.    

There have been times God has gone from gentle warnings to full-on floods over a period of six months or more before I catch on and realize I need to change something about my life or character.  The good news is, God is merciful and time and time again, He starts out with gentle warnings and gives me ample time to discern His voice. 

I’ve learned from these times in the past, and I like to think that by daily coming before God, I can prevent all future denseness.  However, I know that my human condition will always need improvement and until I am with Christ in heaven, I’ll always need more work on some area of my life. 

I can only pray that I’ll be a little less dense as years go by, and perhaps one day, it will take only one verse or devotional article to get my attention. 

Is God trying to get your attention?  Tomorrow, I am going to write about some ways God might be trying to get through your own dense skull.  For now, I am off to spend some leisure time in the Word before the rest of my day starts.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2009 4:25 pm

    Great thought. I think we all need to leave a little margin in our life. Maybe that’s why He says “Be Still and know I’m God”…’cause we just don’t do it naturally.

  2. mamala permalink
    March 6, 2009 6:10 am

    As I finish my second cup of coffee, putting off the putting on of work clothes–I read your words–and-BIG SIGH.
    Oh yes, YOU surely needed to hear this, oh–and that lady at work—oh–and some of my relatives–and–uh–mebbe even yer ol ma.
    Your transparency, your need to get right to the nexus–never ceases to amaze me.
    This is just what John Courson was saying the other day–“If we are overwhelmed–then it’s not from God.”
    So chill.

  3. mamala permalink
    March 6, 2009 6:18 am

    Oh yeah–and I was thinking about the word ‘margins’ and how much I hated them when I was a kid. You needed them when you typed, or wrote, a paper–and yes, the paper looked so much neater with them. But my lack of confidence always had me second guessing just exactly where the margins needed to be set-nevertheless in the end, I began to appreciate the little bell that would ‘ding’ to indicate that I was nearly at the end of the line.
    Which makes me realize–evidently I need to install a few ‘dings’ in my own life. And that is really what you were speaking of Ang–learning to really listen when God is telling you–“Heeeyyyyy . . .you’re almost at the end of the line, Ducky . . .”

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