We spend much of our lives barely skimping by. We hang by a thread. We speed, we sprint, and we run from one thing to the next. And we are relieved when we complete one task—but only for a moment, for the next urgent task awaits us. And we cannot give an inch because we do not have an inch.
And this is a snare.
The season of Lent is very much about removing that which distracts us from God. Lent is a reminder that there is a relationship between our schedule and our relationship with Christ.
I am convinced that God has not called us to a schedule that is busting at the seams. God has called us to an abundant life. Abundance is life in God. God has taught me that abundance is tied to my decisions about time. We have experienced periods of famine, where we have very little time to spare. But, God has given us the ability to make feast-giving choices. Choices that give us more than enough. Feast-giving choices are choices that give us margin in our schedule. Margin gives us room to be moved by our Lord.
The more freedom I have, the more willing I am to spend time with God. The more freedom I have, the more attentive I am to God. The more freedom I have, the more flexibility I have to respond to God.
I have freedom because I will choose margin. And you can choose margin too.
Saying yes to God often means saying no to whatever else demands our freedom. And that whatever else that demands our freedom may be an inherently good activity, goal, decision, or commitment. But, if it is sucking the flexibility from your life; if it is suffocating the passion that is reserved for God, then it is hindering your freedom in Christ. Your freedom in Christ is tied to the freedom in your schedule. Freedom in your schedule gives you the ability to respond to what God has for you at the moment God moves.
And I am not urging you to be extreme; I am urging you to take your schedule to God. Creating margin means eliminating that which pushes us not just over the edge, but to the edge. Do not merely cut your schedule back to the edge; cut your schedule before the edge. We were created to have space between our commitments and our threshold.
Let us reserve that space for our Lord.
During this Lent season, I pray we learn to say no. Praise God that He will show us where He wants us to say no. By saying no, we gain margin. By gaining margin, we gain the flexibility to be moved by God.
“My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15 NIV).
“You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.” (Isaiah 42:20 NIV).
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV).
I have purposefully delayed the introduction of my favorite latte to you. I was not sure if you could handle it. I am still not sure. It is with great caution that I present to you a large, sugar-free, caramel-royale latte, with half the pumps of usual syrup, 2% milk, no foam, no whip, extra-hot.
I'm that girl.
Don't be that girl.
Much love to you,