Name the category for the list below:

One inch margins, 12 point font, double spaced lines, number pages...

Your Jeopardy answer:  What is... instructions for writing a research paper.  The word margin has been creeping into numerous conversations lately... and I can tell you, I am way past discussing research papers!?

One applicable definition of margin is "the blank space surrounding the text on a page".  So, just for comparison's sake... let's define our schedules as the 

Can you imagine trying to read a research paper, a book, a recipe, anything without any margins?   Chaos and frustration would define that reading.  So, what about our lives, our weeks, our days?  

Why do we even need margin?  I mean, really, we have so much to accomplish, so much to finish, so much to do.  Honestly some of us seemingly thrive on margin-less lives, just look at our fully-packed   schedules for proof.  Meaningful healthy living and relationships require time.  We know that - we've watched Dr. Phil.

Ideally, creating margin in our lives required intentional understanding of our schedule and intentional choice to allow planned "unscheduled" time.  Many great tools exist that encourage us to literally write out an hour by hour detail of our days.  Evaluating that detail can lead us as we choose "white space" to replace text.  

Reality is that some moments, margin is simply acknowledging  the need to stop - right NOW!  What we do during that margin time should be determined by what we intend our "text" to reflect.

If we intend for our lives to reflect Jesus, then our margin will imitate His ways..

A few ideas:
Time with the Lord... in His word.
Prayer - Communication with God, speaking to Him and listening to Him...
Time with a friend(s)
Absence of cell phone
Absence of computer
Intentional absence of "responsibility"

Do you see any repeat..

I love Peter - the disciple who might not be best known for his priority of margin - he was the "get it done", enthusiastic, close follower of  Christ.  Like me, I think Peter loved the "text".. He liked words.  Frank recently reminded me of that truthful cliche, 'a picture is worth a thousand words.  But honey, I can paint a picture USING a thousand words.  Often Peter spoke first - realized his "margin" need later.  I get that.  

But this one time... when he met Jesus, Peter realized a needed margin... listening - WELL!  Luke tells the story in chapter 5 of his gospel.  Peter and his buddies had been fishing all night... no luck.  They were tired - not looking for any advice about their trade.  They were fishermen, after all.  Jesus simply told Peter to let down the nets.  Peter listened.  He knew it wasn't the best time of day or the best depth of water that Jesus was suggesting.  But Luke tells us that Peter responded, "Because You said so, I will let down the nets."  

You know what happened... they had to call in their friends with a second boat to handle all the fish.  Moments later, Jesus called Peter to "fish for men".  

Jesus was right... He is always right.  The Bible offers some repeated advice over and over again. 
 Be still. 
 Come to Me when you are weary, I will give you that needed rest.  

Take Him at His word... Maybe today is good day for increasing needed margin - the text will benefit, and so will the readers of that life story...

But because You say so, I will let down the nets.
Luke 5:5b