Living Off Margin

Sitting here at Merridees Breadbasket in downtown Franklin and watching the manic movement of people reminds me of the times I spent observing the ant hills of my youth in rural Virginia. There is a hum of activity, some of which appears purposeful and some not so much, but what stands out to me is the pace of the procession. Judging by the furrowed brows of people’s faces, it appears that many are left without much margin in their lives.

As I observe this I am reminded of a quote by bestselling author John Eldredge: “The strategy of the enemy of our souls in the age we live now is busyness.” Amen to that. After failing to connect with a couple of friends recently despite repeated attempts on my part to accommodate their schedules, I finally surmised the other day that people are simply too busy for their own good.

It was impressionist composer Claude Debussy who remarked, “Music is the space between the notes.” And I couldn’t agree more. What is missing in the modern lifestyle is the equivalent of silence to accentuate the magic of life’s music. Rather than arranging life’s activities to allow for times of serendipity, people seem content to live with little or no margin at all in their lives.

Soon after moving here to Franklin I delighted in the realization that our new home is located off a street called Margin. As a matter of fact, we live between the streets of Church and Margin, which I interpret to be a sign of the times. When those who count themselves among God’s people can’t find the time to fellowship with one another, then much is lost in the meantime.