Have you ever had to make the deep and serious decision between 2 or more trips walking the 90 feet from your vehicle to the kitchen or piling up and hanging grocery bags from yourself in every way humanly possible? I need to know, how many is too many?
I have difficulty with this every time I go shopping. What a waste of energy and effort it would be if I kept walking back and forth and back and forth. I might have to walk 90 to 130 feet if I did that.
There is one variable, however, that one must consider when making this decision. What is in the load? Eggs? Rotisserie chickens? Bread? One must consider these issues. Do you really want shopping bag scrambled eggs? Is it really worth having to mop the chicken juice off the kitchen floor to not walk back to the vehicle another time? Did you really mean to buy flatbread?
The load matters. Actually, the load determines the limits.
In Proverbs 27:23-27 we are instructed to know the condition of our flocks and to pay attention to our herds. We are instructed that new growth comes when the hay is cut and that faithfulness with what one has now is how one prepares for what is ahead.
What is your flock? What is your herd? God has given you something to be responsible for. He has given you people to be mindful of. He has given to you responsibilities to consider when making decisions. Are you considering the Word and wisdom of the Lord when you make these decisions?
Margin is that space between load and limit. It is the reality that some days the load of bearing one’s cross daily to follow Jesus is heavier than on other days. Margins are neither the means nor the measure of holiness. Margins are the result of holiness.
We have space between our God-given limits (the one he intentionally created to exist within us because we are not God) and our decided upon load. The key is not to simply set limits and then tell God the load must fit within them. The answer to this dilemma is to accept the God-given load and allow that to determine the God-given limits. The load determines the limits.
Most people in our culture are over-extended with their money, time, energy, emotions, and spirit. Yet, most are painfully unaware of their marginless life because it is the norm of our day. We have decided to push all limits and breakdown all barriers, even healthy ones.
I give you 3 challenges in making your decisions about load and limits.
1. Honor what you have.
Honoring what you have in life includes honoring who is in your life. You must consider what you have to be content in and with it. “He who is faithful with little will be given much.” Or as Proverbs 27:25 states “the new grass comes after the growth is cut.”
2. Honor today.
Tomorrow can only be honored when today is honored. Be faithful with this day and you will be ready to be faithful with the next one.
3. Honor the Lord
You have flocks because God so blessed. Your herd is his blessing and doing. Honor him with and in it.
I encourage you to consider the load God desires of you in making your limit decisions. Start with the God-given load and then you will be ready to live within God-given limits.