Written by Rachel Quigley
Dave and I were gifted a dinner date at Texas de Brazil. This is an elaborate smorgasbord meat buffet that comes right to your table. Their meats are fabulous and thinking back on that meal makes my mouth water. It’s on the expensive side so friends told us, “Go hungry and get your money's worth!”
Our hostess explained how the meal would go. Our side dishes would be brought to our table and served family style. We could enjoy endless salad bar trips, and the green/red card on our table would let the meat buffet servers know when we wanted more or were ready for a rest.
While enjoying our sides and salads, we indulged in a parade of varying meats carved and served to us at our table. The green side of our card sat there letting the servers know we were open to them bringing us more meat. When we were full we had the option of turning our card to show red - stop bringing us food!
Dave and I love a good meal. There’s something about savoring the flavors and tenderness of the various meats. There was filet mignon wrapped in bacon, parmesan-crusted pork loin, garlic picanha, and so many other delectable cuts of meat. It was amazing and we were glad we had gone hungry so we could fill up on all the goodness.
But then something started happening. What was just moments before savory and delicious was now not sitting well in my gullet. I was stuffed and overextended. The variety began to fade and all the tastes blended together in a mixture of sameness. I began regretting all that commitment.
I indicated to the servers I was done by turning my card to 'red' but they kept coming. I began feeling guilty for the unfinished meat on my plate. I was way beyond my capacity. I was no longer savoring but instead regretting my choices and just wanted to leave.
Sometimes in life we find ourselves in similar scenarios.
We commit to areas of ministry thinking it’s good and amazing. We enjoy the richness of serving and meeting the needs of others. But then our schedules are stuffed and we’re overextended. And even though we hold up the ‘red’ stop cards, people and tasks don’t seem to recognize our fullness.
When we are stuffed beyond capacity, our tells show.
Margin is the fuel reserve for our lives. When we have no margin our engines seize up and we’re left on the side of the road.
To honor our capacity, how can we create margin in our lives?
Recognize we are responsible for creating the boundaries in our lives. We set the parameters. This requires strategy and intentionality.
God created us for whole living. His desire is that we live abundant lives – not through over stuffing, overextending, or over committing but through:
In these areas of Living in Wholeness, Life Giving Relationships, and Honoring our Capacity, we can flourish and live richer lives by applying these principles to our lives.
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