The beginning of the school year was always an anxious time for me. At the top of the list of anxieties were fitting in socially and measuring up scholastically. Both I achieved with some mediocrity.
The one area of the new school season I thoroughly enjoyed was the selection of school supplies. Style and color of notebook were painstakingly chosen. I reasoned that neat, organized note taking was the key to educational success. There was something about a fresh, new page of 3-ringed notebook paper that invited me in to dream of my journey of knowledge and development of life skills.
I am always drawn to the margins of the paper, maybe because of my bend (read “obsession”) toward the neat and orderly. The pale, red vertical lines neatly frame the work on the page. In a sense it makes the page’s message more readable and its information easier to digest. The space allows the eye to rest while the brain processes.
Margins are also places to jot personal thoughts, revelations and personal inspirations which are often more meaningful that what is on the horizontal lines that are filled with crucial note-taking information. Many of my notebooks, journals, books and Bibles have writing in the margins. It’s the space where I’ve processed and put into my own words a “light bulb” moment.
I have learned I need margins in my life – spaces where I can read and digest the happenings in my day.
I have realized margins describe far more than vertical lines framing a piece of paper. I have learned I need margins in my life – spaces where I can read and digest the happenings in my day. I believe, and God has proven in me, that “. . . in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes” (Romans 8:28), but I need space to reflect and allow God to lovingly direct my thought processes. I need those spaces for too often my days are filled with running from one task to another ticking off the next number on my to-do list without any fore or afterthought. Before I realized the value of these margins in life, when I did take a moment to step back and take a breath, I often found myself wondering, “How did I get here?”
Margins can be delightful moments of Spirit connecting with spirit, but I’ve also experience these spaces to be a time of His peeling back layers to reveal something unlovely. I don’t want to run from these moments. I am learning to embrace them.