Given this overwhelming state of affairs, I've been searching for practical ways to reclaim some necessary open space in my life and schedule. So far, we've looked at three key tips: 1) Seeking and Accepting Help, 2) Saying No, and 3) Knowing What Refreshes You.
Today I'm looking at a fourth and final strategy to reclaim life margin: Getting an Aerial Perspective.
Last week I had an afternoon meeting on campus. Instead of snagging a parking spot an one of the lower levels of the parking deck like I normally do in the morning, I had to drive to the top to find an open space. Way to the top. Before rushing down the six flights of steps, I paused and surveyed the view.
It stopped me in its tracks. I regularly notice the beauty of the campus, but this particular view was so pleasing, so serene, so calming. I saw the traffic passing along the road from a distance. I watched people gathering and talking from a distance. I examined buildings where exams were being taken, papers were being submitted, deadlines were being established, and work was piling up -- both for professors and for students -- from a distance.
And from this distance, all the workings of campus seemed simple. Because I wasn't in the midst of the situation -- because I was above it all -- I was able to see my world differently.
This moment tangibly reminded me of the benefit of shifting my life perspective, of moving beyond my pedestrian understanding of affairs where I see matters only from my limited human vantage point. We're reminded in Isaiah that God's thoughts are not our thoughts and that his ways are not our ways. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.
Higher than ours! He sees farther than we can. He's able to discern the scope and scale and beginning and end in ways that we can't. He's not overwhelmed by the details that threaten to overwhelm us.
At the same time -- and here's the beauty -- God isn't distant. He sees our lives from that sovereign vantage point, yet he's available, moment by moment, for us to call upon when we're in the thick of things.
When I'm struggling, when stress weighs heavily, and when demands encroach on my life margins, I can't forget the most important factor: I can view these troubles from above.
Thank you for joining me during this series on reclaiming life margin!
Creating Margin: The Necessity of White Space in Life
Now that We're Talking About Life Margin
Life Margin Tip #1: Seek and Accept Help
Life Margin Tip #2: Just Say No
Life Margin Tip #3: Know What Refreshes You
Life Margin Tip #4: Get an Aerial Perspective (you are here)
Airplane image complements of Grosler (flickr.com)