Could it be possible for Satan to masquerade as a young, handsome maitre d’ on board our ship in France? And could he possibly sachet thru’ the dining room, every single morning, with a tremendous tray, tongs in hand, serving fresh, melt-in-your-mouth-nearly-foot-long croissants to each and every passenger because none of us could say, “no”?????
Actually, my stealth-like-resister-of-temptation-husband was able to turn this guy down. Yours truly? Not a chance.
Fresh butter and cheese and an assortment of lovely preserves enhanced the croissant. Slice of Heaven… All of this was a mere preamble to the breakfast we were about to order. So to answer my earlier question about the possibility of Satan masquerading as our maitre d’, oh, yes, I’m sure of it.
I could go further out on a limb and claim the croissant brought me margin (!!!), but that’d be a bit of a stretch. As in needing to wear stretch pants after a week of a croissant a day. And look at what was waiting for us in our workout room once we got to Paris:
Last week we began by defining what margin is (Purposefully keeping space between your load and your limit. For more descriptions and suggestions, click on Part 1 of 2…)
This week we’ll discuss one of many concepts of margin. It comes from a well-known Scripture, Psalm 46:10a which says, “Be still, and know that I’m God…”
The NASB says, “Cease striving…”
The NLV says, “Be quiet.”
The VOICE says, “Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God.”
Author Rob Morgan, in his book The Lord Is My Shepherd: Resting in the Peace and Power of Psalm 23 points out that finding time to study and savor Scripture is “a challenge in an age of noise, earbuds, radios, iPods, television, and loudspeakers. But all my electronics (including my mobile phone) HAVE AN ‘OFF’ BUTTON.” Hello???
Rob says, “We’ve got to steal away for stillness.” He recommends we “carve out a little zone of quiet each day for devotion and meditation.” Think about how you can do this today.
Ruth Bell Graham said, “The definition of traveling light may vary from one individual to another. But most of us need to trim off some excess weight.” (She’s not talking about excess weight on our bodies—as in pounds, plural, from consuming a croissant a day…She’s talking about in our calendars.)
She continues, “We have too many social involvements, an overabundance of good but unnecessary meetings…Remember this: ‘Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.’”
Let’s return to Mark Buchanan’s book, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. Mark admits his number one regret is being in a hurry. Anyone besides me relate to this???
He says, “I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry…Thru’ all that haste, I thought I was making up time. Turns out I was throwing it away.”
Now get a load of this: “The Chinese join two characters to form a single pictograph for busyness: heart and killing. That is stunningly incisive. The heart is the place the busy life exacts its steepest toll.” To further convince us of this, Mark adds, “This is true literally, physically, and cardiologically.”
He said his own father died of heart failure as did his father’s brother. They literally worked themselves to death. Completely consumed and obsessed, they raced to a dreadful finish line. Scary.
Equally eye-opening is the Swahili word for “white man”–mazungu. It means “one who spins around”, as in spinning out of control. Mark says, “We’re flurries of going nowhere.” Ouch. “It’s Sabbath time,” Mark adds, “which invites us to stop turning around and around.”
The busy life is the antithesis to how God wants us to live. Ann Voskamp said, “Hurry always empties a soul.” Thus if we’re empty, we are rendered unable to glorify God. The light of Christ within us quickly becomes snuffed out. Scarier.
How then, must we live…
…To be still?
…To manage our margin?
…To restore our souls so that we restore the Sabbath?
This week, I pray you’ll consider ways to manage your margin every day. As I said last week, managing our margin translates into a huge benefit for our health and well-being.
I’ll leave you with a couple moments of margin while in France. Why don’t you leave a comment with some of your own ideas of favorite margin moments? We could all use some help!
This would be John’s idea of margin: relaxing on the balcony of our ship, taking in the beautiful scenery. (Yes, I did micro-manage just a tad and suggest he be careful to not kick his shoes off in the river!!! Fairly sure that little remark blew a moment or two of his margin…)
This selfie (!!!) was taken one morning after a walking tour in Paris. It was a bit chilly and we wanted a hot cup of coffee. Café Americain, bien sur. Just what the doctor ordered for a moment of margin.
Let’s return once more to Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.” May we find moments of margin to be still and not hurry thru’ what life we have left on this earth.
Next week we’ll look at some thought-provoking questions from Mark’s book. Heads’ up: they have the potential to stop you in your tracks…but for good reason. We’ll also have more moments of margin from France.
‘Til next time!