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How are you spending your margin?

“Start children off on the way they should go,

and even when they are old they will not turn from it.“

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22‬:‭6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My Dilemma

I’m not sure about you but sometimes I treat margin like a “frienemy.” I know I need it and I love it when I have it. However based on my actions sometimes, you’d think that I hated it.

I’m sure that like me, you want more Margin. The problem is, there are too many “good things” that need doing, all things that I think glorify God: work, coaching little league, teaching Sunday School, volunteering on boards, etc. These are all things that I enjoy and I believe are positively impacting God’s kingdom. Sometimes though as a R.A.L.I. - man I’m tempted to do more. Sometimes I fall prey to “over-rejecting passivity” by doing too much and looking for more ways to serve.

My "Ah-Ha Moment"

Recently I was having breakfast with some of my “huddle guys” (If you are not in an MD5 Huddle Group then you need to get in one - See Details Below) and I was telling them that I felt like I wasn’t discipling enough and that I felt like God was calling me to disciple young men. I explained that I had been looking for some younger guys to pour into. However, between margin issues and a lack of willing, early morning participants I was coming up empty handed.

A wise mentor of mine replied “Thad, well yeah, God’s calling you to disciple. And He’s given you two willing bodies in your own house. You’ve only got them for 4 and 7 more years.”

Of course I knew that was the case, but I needed to hear that it was ok to focus my efforts on my boys while I have them at home. We discuss God and a biblical worldview regularly as a family but I wanted some focused one on one time to disciple my boys. This one conversation has changed the arc of my relationship with my sons.

My Adjustment

So I cut out one of my early morning obligations (created margin) to make room for a weekly breakfast with my 11 and 14 yr old sons (ready and willing disciples). Creating that margin to spend a little more time with my boys has been incredibly fulfilling for all 3 of us. We get up at 6 am on Tuesdays, get ready, and go eat. Nothing fancy.

It even helped create a little margin for mom.

We eat, discuss what’s going on in their lives, and then discuss God’s word. No cell phones, no distractions. Just a man, his sons, and God’s word.

How Are You Using Your Margin?

Serving God is an amazing thing. Serving your family is a worthwhile endeavor. Serving your community is a great thing. But there is only so much margin available. Make sure that you are using that margin wisely. Creating more margin to spend time discipling my sons has been the best use of margin I’ve come across in a long time.

So create some margin and I bet if you check, you’ve got some willing disciples close at hand too. Heck you can even join us sometime if you want.

Thad Hardin

MD5 Facilitator

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