Today was my day to run errands. In the car for much of the day, so I popped in a CD I had made of some North Point Podcasts. This particular podcast was Andy Stanley speaking on margin. (Margin is the extra you have. Extra time, extra energy, extra money, etc) It was the first of 6 messages, so it was kind of an introduction to the series. His point is that society today tries to diminish margin. People are packing their days so full of stuff they don't have time to enjoy life. People consume so much, that they are going into debt and going bankrupt. (When margin decreases, stress increases.)
Whenever I listen to Andy speak I am moved. The dude is so freakin' smart! He explains stuff in a way that is so simple, yet so profound. At one point he talked about how God laid out some guidelines for his people to establish margin. Taking one day a week and not doing any work. Didn't matter if their "to-do list" still had items on it, they took an entire day off. He also talked about money... how God told his people to live on 80%. 80%? Yeah 80 %! 10% went to the kingdom, and another 10% went to help the poor.
Now I've heard pastors preach on tithing, and how it's important, God will bless you, etc. (You've probably heard it all) But I had never heard anyone talk about that additional 10%. Wow! It blew me away. Another 10% for the poor. I like it! Why didn't I think of that?
As I listened to this message, I couldn't help but look at my life. Do I have margin? Am I squeezing margin out of my life? Yeah, I am. There are days when I don't have time to read my Bible. There are periods of time where I live at work. This past May when Crystal and I took a couple days off to go to the cottage was the first time in over a year and a half that we had spent 2 days in a row together. It's an on-going struggle in my life, and maybe in yours too.
So I encourage you to develop margin in your life. Enjoy life while you're young. You're only 20 once. Take a couple months and go to Europe. Find a way to live on 80% of your income. Give to the poor. Don't pack your schedule so full of stuff you run from one thing to another. Develop margin.
Check out the message series yourself... Buy it here or download it on iTunes.