Eight weeks ago, if you’d asked me how much I thought I could handle, my answer would have probably been something like “anything that gets thrown my way!”
I kicked off 2012 with a bold and tenacious outlook on life; I even encouraged college students to write inspirational letters in honor of spring semester – letters that could serve as tangible reminders of our hopes, goals and words of advice.
How quickly I forgot the contents of that letter…
As most of us do, I’ve spent a lot of my spring break in a state of reflection. During this process (I guess I had to learn it the hard way) I discovered that once again, I am guilty of overloading. Of taking on too much. Of losing sight of my priorities. Of doing less of what I love and more of what I loathe. Of not knowing when to say no.
We are told that the busier we are, the happier and more successful we will be in the end. We are told that hard work pays off; therefore, we work hard. As Americans, we live and breathe upward mobility, opportunity and the promise of prosperity.
But maybe busyness doesn’t brew happiness after all.
Last month, the church I attend in Muncie (the Gathering) hosted a series called “Margins.” The sermon series focused on setting boundaries and priorities in our marginless lives.
Margin is where we draw the line between our load and our limit – margin gives us breathing room. Without it, we suffocate.
Today, many of us live our lives without margin; overloading is a common practice. I myself am guilty of it constantly. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to realize when enough is enough.
There is danger in this.
I love the way our pastor Joshua put it during the series: “when we sow busyness, we reap more busyness.”
A marginless life keeps us so preoccupied that it keeps us from really living. Slowly, it makes us lose sight of the important things in life.
That’s why setting priorities and learning when to say no are so essential.
We can only do so much. And that’s okay.
Today, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my best friends at the Main Street Coffee House in Nappanee, Ind. The coffee house is a favorite spot of ours – we’ve been there several times – yet I never noticed the painting that sits just outside the corner window.
A mural of a boy and girl sipping milkshakes decorates one of the downtown buildings. It reads: embrace the pace.
I smiled as I spotted this work of art. It told me what I needed to hear: it’s time to enjoy life again. Set Margins. Embrace a slower pace. And live.