Remembering the story of Mary and Martha, we can see two things happens when we do not have margin in our lives.
1) When margin decreases, your stress increases: For example, when you’re running late and your margin decreases, what happens? Your stress increases.
2) As your margin decreases, your relational intimacy, it also decreases.
Those of you that are busy, are also frustrated and challenged. Your mind rarely disengages from the things that you think are important. You can be with somebody you love, but you are not with them. You are present, but you are not all present. Your mind is still running. You plan to spend time with family or friends and you all know this situation, someone is facebooking, someone is texting, someone is emailing, someone is twittering and your relational intimacy is decreasing.
Your relational intimacy, it decreases, not just with people, but also with God. I meet people all the time who say, “I used to come to prayer meeting, but I got too busy.” Other times when you ask people about their relationship with God they say “We used to be close, I used to be in His Word and pray, and it used to be so good; but I just got too busy!” Busy, too busy for people, too busy for God. And for some reason we think that is normal.
The bottom line is, because most of us, we do not fully trust God. That’s it! It’s we do not have enough faith to really believe that God is on the throne, that He will handle the details of life and that His way of doing life is better. We are afraid that if we are not going and going and going, we are going to miss out on something out there, that elusive something that is going to finally fill the void we feel so deeply in our hearts. Gotta work harder, gotta make more money, gotta have the nicer, gotta have this, gotta be at the meeting…gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta!
In one word, idolatry. We are elevating good things to become supreme things. We are distracted by all of the production and worldliness. Gotta have the bigger house, then it may help our marriage. Gotta have the nicer car, then it will make me feel good about myself, therefore I have got to get the promotion so I can sustain this lifestyle. Got to be at the meeting so they will think well of me, because their opinion matters, and my whole self worth hinges on what they think about me. Gotta have the perfect body, because my soul is not as valuable as my body. I’ve got to produce more and more and more, because I am so empty. It’s idolatry. It’s insane and it’s killing marriages and families and people are hurting. It’s not what God intended.
The first step to gaining margin in our lives, is keeping the first of the Ten Commandments. Have no other Gods before me (Exodus 20:2). We need to keep God the first place in our lives.