Today’s blog post is written by Michael Boyle, a member of the Two Rivers Church leadership team.
Last week Two Rivers Church was blessed with a wonderful worship service. This is not an unusual occurrence, as our regular fellowship often provides rich and varied nourishment for our hearts and minds (and if you are still reading this, you are invited to join us on Sunday at 10:00 AM to see for yourself!). However, something stood out for me on this particular week.
Pastor Wendy spoke of “making margin in our lives,” which I understood as making deliberate choices to set aside time and energy in our lives in order to make room for the most important relationships and activities. For some people, this might mean spending less time watching TV or reading internet content. Another re-prioritization could be to reduce the amount of “stuff” we keep in our lives.
The flip side of reducing the time spent on media consumption and buying & maintaining extra material goods is this: By freeing up my time and energy, I can then have more availability for time with my family, church, friends, and the larger community.
In Matthew 6:21, Jesus says to his followers, “The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (‘The Message’ Translation)
An accompanying thought to this truth could be: My time is my treasure. How I spend it shows where my heart is.
Wendy’s message strongly resonated with me, and other nodding heads told me that other people felt similarly. However, there was a more concrete expression of “margin-making” hospitality in store for us. At the end of the sermon, we took a blessed opportunity to put into action this idea of “making margin for God.” Wendy led us as we prayed together for a woman in our church family who will soon be undergoing surgery due to an illness.
As we reached out and extended ourselves in prayer for our sister, it was a small but powerful expression of making margin in our daily lives, and it helped me to get outside myself and give some of my own intention and care to another person in need.
Another thought that occurred to me is that we prayed these prayers together as a family might pray, as opposed to offering separate individual prayers to God (which are also important, to be sure). It brought to mind the times that Jesus prayed publicly for sick people, his own disciples, and others. We physically (extending our hands) and mentally brought ourselves together to take a brief time and express our care and concern for our friend. There is something very powerful when we pray as a group, joined together in asking for help from the One who creates and sustains all life.
That nourishment was one of the highlights of my week! Thanks be to God!
* One simple illustration of this: margins in a page. It’s more difficult to follow the words and ideas on a printed page if the page doesn’t have consistent layout and formatting, including consistent line spacing and margins on top, bottom, left, and right of the page. In my school days, I received papers back from my teachers with comments like “I can’t read this because you didn’t follow proper formatting and it’s not possible to follow from one line to the next. Re-format and resubmit immediately.”