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A minute of margin

September 15, 2014


On a scale of one to 10, how busy are you these days? One represents being not busy and 10 represents insanely busy and completely overloaded with schedule demands. The answer to this question can be fairly simple or really complex depending on your day-to-day circumstances.

There is a biblical mandate for all of us to engage in Sabbath rest. However, this is not a theological conversation but a mere practical inquiry. If your life is out of balance with the demands of busyness, how will you regain balance and restore Sabbath as a part of your Christian journey?

There are three places of consideration I offer today to aid in the acknowledgement of overload and assist in the struggle to regain focus and balance.

The first consideration for all of us dealing with overload is to reflect and understand the scriptures regarding Sabbath.

The second consideration is to engage in individual and collective accountability concerning Sabbath rest in your life.

I am not a runner, but I recently engaged a seasoned runner in a conversation concerning Sabbath rest and restoration, and was introduced to the term “runner’s recovery.”

“The simplest definition is the act or process of returning toward normal,” says Trent Stellingwerff, the research and physiology leader at the Canadian Sport Institute. “It can happen in terms of seconds – like the recovery between intervals on the track – hours or days. It can be weeks or months.” Strout, Erin (2/18/14). “Rest and Recovery for Runners: The simplest strategies make the biggest difference.” Retrieved from www.runnersworld.com.  

Finally, consider making Sabbath reflection a part of your daily devotion and prayers. I have found a helpful book to assist in team building and leadership development with staff and personal devotion. Richard Swenson, author of “Minute of Margin: Restoring Balance to Our Busy Lives,” provides daily reflections on topics such as availability, balance, boundaries, busyness, contentment, emotional health, expectations, information, limits, margin, media, overload, pace, physical energy, priorities, relationships, rest, simplicity, solitude, sovereignty, stress, technology, time, waiting, and work.

The next time you engage a fellow sojourner in life and ministry, consider asking – How is it with your soul? How are you recovering from the demands of life and ministry? Do you have any margin?

“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9-10).

Dear Lord, let it be so…

Rev. Denise Walton serves as the Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries. Contact her at denise@sgaumc.org.




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