24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
Luke 9:24-25 ESV
A young man once asked Dallas Willard what he thought God would want him to focus on in his daily 15 minute quiet time. After a characteristically long pause the wise sage responded: “I don’t think the Lord is as concerned about your 15 minute quiet time as he is about the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of your day.
We live in a society that moves at blustering near light speed. Due to recent developments in technology, we are more connected and plugged in than ever before. As a result, our lives seem to be constantly full of commitments and pressures, and many of us are expected to be available and on call 24-7. The soul was not designed to live at this hurried place. With all our connectivity, we have become increasingly disconnected from our true source of power.
At Ascend we often talk about building in margins. As we are planning trips we try to ask the question, “Where is the time for the unexpected?” Last month on a trip in Big Bend, I was so thankful that we had planned a rest day for our group, as an unexpected flat tire led to a 6 hour drive to replace it at the nearest auto shop.
This practice of building in margins has also become a mantra for my daily personal life. I tend to fill life to the brim with activities and experiences and often try to live at a pace that my soul is not equipped for. Much like margins in a book create space that allows the mind to absorb content, margins in our lives create space for us to live unhurried lives of freedom and purpose.
In the book of Luke, Jesus cautions us to spend our lives on what matters in eternity and not to lose our very selves in the process of seeking to save ourselves. This paradoxical truth is as relevant and essential today as it was 2000 years ago. It is so easy for us to invest ourselves in good things that we think will bring us life, while neglecting the best thing, the only ONE who is truly the source of life. As we head into the often frantically busy holiday season, what would it look like for you to set margins in your life that assure that you are putting your own soul care first? What would it look like to order your days in such a way that all 24 hours are lived in fellowship with and worship of your Creator? It is my prayer that you will experience soul restoration, and be able to establish healthy margins this holiday season.