Books

Lessons in Margin from My Computer

This afternoon I spent about three hours alternating between Longman and Dillard's Introduction to the Old Testament and clearing disk space and defragmenting my computer. My computer has been getting slower and slower, quirkier and quirkier of late, so I started running the system tools. When I tried to defrag, however, my computer informed me that I needed at least 15% free disk space on my hard drive to safely and effectively do the defrag. So, I started deleting programs and files, especially (and to my chagrin) a large number of MP3 sermons that I had saved.

Well, the exercise prompted a reflection. It is difficult to defragment our lives, when they are overloaded. We would all do well to maintain 15% margin. But when we bump from one urgency to the next, with little time to rest, reflect, meditate, and pray - it is very difficult to pull the loose ends of our fragmented thoughts and affections together. If we are so overloaded that defragging is itself an overwhelming task, its time to start deleting activities.

Mind you, some of those activities should be time-wasters: surfing the net, watching sitcoms, etc. Some of the activities might be unnecessary "extra-curricular" activities in our own lives or our children's lives that add several layers of complexity into schedule (too many sporting events, dance and music lessons, etc.). And we may also need to eliminate some of the demands we accept from others, because we are afraid to say "no." Unfortunately, most people start with eliminating personal spiritual disciplines, then kingdom work and important ministry to others, then relationships or perhaps disciplines needed for maintaining proper health (proper nutrition, exercise, and rest). And I am as guilty as the next person (as my expanding waist-line shows - incidentally, I'm shopping for an eliptical, if anyone has some good recommendations, let me know!).

Where to find 15%? Well, do the math. 15% of a seven-day week is 1 day: Sabbath. Theologically speaking, I'm not a strict "Christian Sabbatarian." But I do think Sabbath-keeping in some form makes good sense and gives us the space we need for fruitful and de-fragged lives.

Thanks, Lord for using technology today to remind of the importance of simplicity!

1 comment:

John said...

It seems like the curse of the age is being too busy. People seem to hate seeing anyone with any time and rush to find something for you to do. I just happened to pray yesterday that the Lord would give me the courage to say "no" to helping with the unimportant activities of the community so that I would have more time for the important things!