Mark Affleck


August 6, 2016
Spiritual Growth

It’s all about margin.
You are no doubt thinking that what’s coming next from a “full-speed-ahead CEO” like me is that margin is all about striving for a life balance and taking time to smell the roses…right?
For me, creating the margin necessary to live a committed life following Jesus is a matter of generating “breathing room” for an intimate relationship with God.
The more conventional Christian view of creating margin is to shift priorities to “accommodate” spiritual growth and maturity. Obviously, there is a HUGE difference in approaches.
As my success mounted as a CEO, the margin in my life kept shrinking ever smaller. Even though I had more success than I ever imagined, I couldn’t relax. People would tell me they were going to the zoo or to a parade and I would think they had gone mad. To say I was on edge would be a massive understatement.
My activity management approach to life demoted God to a minor and situational role. Any margin I created was for me, not for others, not for God. Just me. I felt like a barking dog chasing a car, although I would never have known what to do with it had I caught it. It seems foolish now when I look back. But that was my life in my early 30s and 40s.
Something very significant happened on the day I decided to get on God’s path when it came to margin. Though it certainly didn’t show up immediately as a big bang vision from the heavens, I went through a complete life transformation. I have a stack of personal journals three feet high to prove it. In the middle of my dangerous tango with margin squeeze and activity management, God had blessed me.
Over time, God created margin in my life, but the margin was not for relaxing. I knew God wanted me to use the margin to find my purpose in life and discern what he would have me do for the Kingdom with my gifts and experiences.
I do not believe that shifting priorities in life to accommodate spiritual maturity will ever work. The only way to know what to add or drop in order to create margin is to put everything through God’s filter every day. That was how God helped me cut back on what the world valued in order to have more time for what he valued.
My life with God first does not have perfection anywhere in the picture, but I do have margin and breathing space to listen for God’s direction. But I do not have these things so I can rest. The breathing room is to be ready to hear what God would have me feel, do, and be.
I’m glad I “Got Margin.”

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