Wednesdays tend to be long for me with ministry programming for Middle School and High School students. As I awoke yesterday, one thing was for sure, I needed to get a little time out and about despite the pending list of work to complete. In many cases each of us face this same challenge, our work load results in added pressure at the start of each day. I knew what I needed, a little walk in the snow-covered wilderness…
I turned on the iPod and the podcasts began. I often like to listen to podcasts as I am exercising and I find it to be a great time for me to connect with God while listening to messages given by other pastors. Yesterday in particular as I was walking in the woods behind my house I listened to two messages, the second in particular was one given by a pastor in Atlanta, Andy Stanley. Stanley’s message, Breathing Room : Ex-Squeeze Yourself, helped me evaluate again the margin in my life. Do I have breathing room?
Sometimes we have to force ourselves to find breathing room, getting away from work or the busyness that our world sells as important. How many days do we get to step away and just say, “ahhhh”? Are we living too fast paced lives? Something I have learned more and more about myself, breathing room is important for me to be able to give my best to others and the work I do. As I continually evaluate my schedule, I find very little margin. As I review my finances, little margin. Stanley’s message affirmed for me why I am working to create margin, because I know the importance of margin; to increase space for God to speak to me, to allow the Holy Spirit to move me and for rest that will allow me to bring my best.
Oftentimes I find myself rushing from one thing to the next, never feeling completely ready, even experiencing guilt when I don’t complete everything I had wanted too. Sometimes when doing something for myself, to refresh and renew, the creep of the “to do’s” interrupts. I have to be reminded of the importance of margin, “breathing room”, to help me overcome any feelings of guilt and avoid the interruptions. Do you have breathing room? How important is breathing room?
I like what Stanley says, “Our lives are busy and fast-paced. The lack of margin increases our stress and shortens our tempers. It can distract us from the most important things in our lives…and our relationships suffer. It can even affect our relationship with God because there’s a connection between our willingness to create margin and our faith. Life is better with breathing room.” I have experienced in my own life the more we consider what God wants for us, His people, helps reshape our perspective about the need to always do more. The result is freedom from the burden of doing more and always being in control. We are able to relinquish control all the while giving our best with trust that God to carry out His plan! I like “Breathing Room”, do you?