I have this bad habit of living beyond my limits in certain areas in my life. I saw this picture recently and it helped me to think about this in a different light. Study this picture for just a few seconds.
This simple little picture is speaking volumes to me right now. You see, I have an issue with my time. If my time was the word TEXT, you would see no padding, no border, and no margin. I lack the self-discipline to say “no” to things that I really don’t need to do or I forget that God can use someone more capable than me to accomplish the things that need to be completed. Not having margin creates stress for me, because I am living outside of the space that was intended to be used for the things I really want to do. Creating margin takes intentionality for me to be able to just breathe and live life abundantly.
Now look at the padding. Creating padding is one step beyond “just being able to breathe.” Padding gives me just a little buffer before I get to the place of margin. Padding around my time could allow me to say an occasional yes to that thing I really want to do or for a meeting that just pops up that I want to take.
Some of us have the privilege of looking at this picture above and evaluating areas in our own life like finances and time where we CAN and ARE ABLE to create padding and margin if we make an intentional decision to do that.
I was challenged recently to consider my finances in this way after a sermon on the biblical concept of gleaning (leaving space around the edge of the field for the poor). If you are interested, you can find it here. Just after the beginning of this new year, a staff member noticed that their paycheck slightly increased, and then I saw that mine had done the same. I know for many, this was a complete answer to prayer and desperately needed. For us, though this was a gift of margin, we came to see it as not simply a blessing for us, but an invitation from God: he wants to bless others through us. So, for me, the challenge was to look at the margin we have already created and put that additional money right back into the places we love – like HopeSprings and our church.
Here is the kicker though…although I may have been moved to do this with my finances, I have yet to do this with my time. Frankly, in the way I treat my time, I can honestly say it is not always healthy or pleasing to the Lord.
So, where am I going with this? In both of these cases: time and finances, there are ways you can get involved with HopeSprings if you have created (or been blessed with) padding and/or margin! Consider volunteering by heading to our website: https://www.hopesprings.org/volunteer/ or consider becoming a monthly donor here: give.hopesprings.org. Every hour and every dollar makes a difference.
Your buffer and margin can be used in an incredible way to bless the lives of the those living with or at risk for HIV. For those of you who are struggling with margin and buffer, so am I! We are in this together. Change CAN come, but it takes intentionality! My prayer is that the Lord would continue to reveal to us ways we can find not just the margin but also the buffer in our lives. If you have it all figured out, let me know!