Margin has been a word I’ve been hearing everywhere lately- and in unrelated places. So, I’ve been curious as to what the implication of it is and how it matters in my life. While at the Drive conference I heard it in three separate places from different speakers. Here are some of them:
“Without margin, there is no room to serve.” “Without margin, we seek first our kingdoms.” Andy Stanley
“Focus creates more personal and creative margin.” Jeff Henderson
“Fun requires margin.” Joel Thomas
Here’s the Wictionary definition: margin
(Printing): the edge of the paper that remains blank
(finance): the yield or profit; the selling price minus the cost
a permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits, as a margin of error
Here’s my interpretation.
We often hear of boundaries and their importance for success in relationships, work, and even among family members. But imagine reading a book or paper that has only boundaries and no margin. There would be words from top to bottom and side to side. They are within a boundary, but no margin. You would get a headache reading something like that because your eyes would have difficulty focusing. By the time you finish reading one page of something like that you would be more caught up in how to get through reading the thing then the content of what you’re actually reading. I think this might be the same with our lives. We need margins so that we can focus on what we are doing and not get frustrated just moving from one thing to the next without taking a breather. We need white space, blank space so that we can relax a little. We need margin for error so that if something runs over, it doesn’t mess everything else up. We would likely accomplish more and be more effective if we do so. I realize I need margins in my life. I’m sure I would be less stressed and freer to do what I feel called to if I did.