One of the challenges of learning to write is learning where NOT to write, that is, to create margins. It is difficult for young eyes and hands to know precisely where a line or word might end,

and so it is very easy to write to the edge of the paper.

I remember Raymond, a fourth grade classmate, whose inability to leave margins was such that the teacher actually paper clipped a second sheet of paper around the page, creating a physical barrier so he had to stop!

Margins are good because they make a text more readable and also more pleasing to the eye. Printed and digital books today are so well formatted that we take the margins for granted. And of course, our word processing programs make it easy by setting the margins for us.

But something within tempts us to ignore the margins of life and write in them anyway. When we do, it may be a sign of our forgetting that while we are made in the image of God, we are not gods ourselves.

One margin many ignore is the margin of energy. We tend to go and go and go and go until we drop, rather than pace ourselves by means of adequate rest. It’s almost like we forget we are mortal, and just have to do “one more thing” before bed, or leaving, or work.

But unlike God, who has unlimited energy, our stores of energy need to be replenished regularly and often by a good night’s sleep or a nap. Getting things done is good, but it’s possible for us mortals to overdo it. As a reminder, the psalmist (Psalm 127:2) tells us that. . .

“It is vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he (the Lord) gives his beloved sleep.”

Don’t forget to allow for the margins!

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