Creating Margin in the New Year

I love Leviticus. I’m not claiming to understand it all, but it’s so rich in imagery and principle. Jana and I discussed the other day the principle that comes from Leviticus 19:9-10 and how it relates to our lives:

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.”

We’re not farmers. We don’t have fields. I don’t know how to turn on a plow. But it seems to me this verse is about creating margin. The Lord was specific with His people. When it came time for harvesting, they weren’t supposed to plow to the end of the rows. They were to leave margin, and they were to leave it “just in case.”

Just in case there is someone traveling who needs food.

Just in case you have the chance to share with someone who is in need.

Just in case someone else needs to feed their family.

Just in case the leftovers can be useful after all for something other than giving you more.

We live in a margin-less world. Our calendars are booked with meetings and appointments end to end. So are our pocketbooks. In fact, everything from our time to our money is pretty much spoken for. We are plowing to the end of the fields. We are going back over the fields of our lives a second and third time, looking for any spare cent or second that has not been accounted for.

But we need to leave room for margin. So in the new year, I want to leave room in my schedule, my time, and my wallet for the “just in case” scenarios. I want to have a few minutes when the phone call comes. I want to have a few bucks when the need arises. I want to have a little energy when some lifting needs to be done.

I want some margin, you know, just in case…

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5 Comments

  • Amy Wright says:

    I really like this. I’ve worked really hard at “simplifying” my life. But I like how you’ve looked at this verse and applied it. It gets me all giddy and excited. I’m weird…but the verse really gives me something to hang on to.

  • Beth Holmes says:

    What a convicting reminder…

  • Michael K. says:

    I’m glad, guys – I know for me putting it into practice is going to require alot of intentionality, and something else I’m not good at – saying “no” to some things.

  • I have spoken before on Jesus being the master at having a vision and purpose for His life, yet having enough margin that He could easily handle what we might see as an “interuption”. It seems that He allowed those things to interupt His schedule that were really a part of the overall vision and plan for His life. Stopping to heal the woman subject to bleeding for 12 years wasn’t a distraction then, it was why He came.

    I think we have to consider what the overall purpose for our life is and prioritize our life accordingly.

    Good post!

  • Michael K. says:

    Love that, Ron. Thanks for the comment.

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