Sacred Margins

Last week, I showed a picture of a document without margins. I want you to look at the same document with margins.

Changes everything doesn’t it? Now what was once jumbled words with no real value, becomes a very meaningful and engaging page.

That is what margins do.

They take chaos and give it order.

They bring purpose to what seems like it has no purpose.

They infuse meaning to the words that are otherwise just a big jumble.

It works the same way in life. Without margins, life begins to be chaotic and confusing. But when we allow ourselves the space to create some margin, even the most meaningless task becomes infused with meaning and purpose.

Richard Rohr talks about this in Everything Belongs. In the Genesis narrative, we see this idea of margin at the very beginning. God takes what is purely chaos and gives it order and purpose. The world he creates has a very specific purpose: It is to be his temple.

A temple is where a god resides. It is where he lives, moves, and does his work. Because of that, the space where he resides is sacred. The god who dwells in a particular place not only makes the space sacred, but everything in the place sacred.

We live in the temple of the God who made the universe. So this earth, this life, this moment is sacred. Every moment we experience is infused with the divine – it carries the charge of meaning, purpose, hope and love.

If we believed this, we would begin to see the world as an extraordinarily fascinating place to live. Every moment would be sacred. Every person would be sacred. We would live wonderful lives of discover, hope and excitement.

I desperately want that, but I rarely experience it. And I think this is due to the lack of margin in my life.

If I never create the time to reflect and examine how filled with meaning my life is – how will I ever know? Without margins in my life, my world is experienced as random, chaotic, uninspiring events. Nothing makes much sense or has much purpose. But when I create margins, I begin to see God in those moments.

Sometimes I will begin to see how an interaction that I thought was trivial was actually infused with the divine. Other times I may be painfully aware that I had the opportunity for a sacred moment but allowed technology, busyness or my fear of going deeper to distract me from it.

This is part of the reason we are addressing technology. We want to ask better questions about how we use technology. Are we using it to help us create margins and see the world through God’s eyes?

Or is it one more thing adding to the chaos of life?

So, how do you create margins? Have you had an experience where margins helped you encounter God in an otherwise ordinary moment? We’d love to hear about it!

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