Tag Archives: School

What Is Healthy Margin?

When I started school  in the early to mid 1980’s one of the first things we learned to do when we began to write was to draw a margin on our paper.

We would measure a couple of inches at the top and bottom to the left of the paper and draw a straight line down. The teacher would tell us that margins are important. There were two reasons we drew a margin. The first was to make sure everything was neatly in a straight line (that was about the only thing that was neat on my paper, my writing was and still is horrible!); the second was to be able to make notes or correct mistakes in the margin. These days we have computers to correct our mistakes, but back then we had to correct them in the margin.

As important as margins were back in elementary school, so personal margins are important in our lives today. So often we just tackle life head on without preparing for what we are going to be doing. Drawing a margin took no more than a minute, but it enabled the paper to be neat and also supplied a place to correct mistakes.

It only takes a short amount of time to create personal margin, yet it can create order in our lives and also a place to reflect and correct our mistakes. So often people forget to create healthy personal margin and their lives become cluttered and the different aspects of their lives start to run into each other.

I have found if I don’t create margin between the different parts of my life I start to stress, I start to let people down, I start to get overwhelmed, I start to break promises, I start to forget things and I start to go from problem to problem.

Basically margin is creating space in your life to plan, think, mend, enjoy and take a break from all the things that full our lives. Jesus was a man who created margin. Just ask the disciples who often found Jesus missing. He was not neglecting them, just drawing margins in His life so that when He was needed He was able to be fully engaged.

Try to create some margin in your life this week. I know your spouse, your kids, your friends, your employees and your peers will appreciate it.


Lessons From Elementary School – Part 2

So this week I am blogging a three-part series about lessons I learned as a child from my early school days, the first was to do something always having the right motive, see that post here, Part 1.

So today is part two, so let’s get straight into it:

Lesson 2

Without a doubt the only reason I could get up in the mornings to go to school was because most days in Elementary School we had PE (Physical Education). We got to play all types of school and sports was my thing!

We did not have personal lockers at school and we wore uniforms, so I had to bring my PE Kit on the days we had PE. If you did not bring your PE kit something terrible happened, and one day I found out what.

We were scheduled to play a game of Rounders (Kind of like baseball, but you hold the bat with one hand instead of two), and as we went back to our classroom to get changed (we didn’t have changing rooms, and we all got changed in the classroom, boys & girls together!) I started to panic! The bag with my PE kit was not there, I had forgotten it! So I told my teacher fully expecting to sit out the game of Rounders. As I told my teacher she shrugged her shoulders and said I’d have to do it in my underwear and shoes. What! In my underwear!I pleaded with her to let me off, but no, see made me strip down.

So the next 45 minutes went from being the most exciting part of the day to one of the most embarrassing moments of my whole life. I stood outside sporting no more than a pair of black dress shoes and a very white, very small pair of Y-Fronts! (this was Britain in the 1980’s, I don’t think boxers had been invented then!). Could you imagine having to do that? Well I still have nightmares to this day over that episode!

So guess what? I never forgot my PE Kit ever again!

So what’s the lesson, apart from the fact that making a kid do PE in his UNDERWEAR will scar him for life there was a deeper lesson I learned. I found out that day that unless you are prepared for all things that come your way you could find ourselves in a situation that exposes you in a destroying way that would affect you for a lifetime.

In Matthew 24:44 we are told to be ready and prepared for the return of Jesus Christ. The reason, for this is that it could happen any moment. There will be those who think they are ready, but when it happens they will look around and their spiritual PE Kit is not there, they had left it behind or forgotten about it. Make sure that you are prepared, and if you do not Jesus as a personal friend and live with him directing your life on a daily basis, then sorry, but your are not ready! All I’m going to say is a little boy standing there in white Y-Fronts is nothing compared to the punishment you will get for not being prepared.

So get ready!