When I was on my CREDO conference last year, trying to nourish my spiritual, vocational and physical being I learned the importance of margins.
We have often been taught that boundaries are important in pastoral ministry, making sure you don’t mix up the role of priest, friend, manager and leader. But most people know and acknowledge that it is almost impossible to keep all of these things clearly boundaried and be a human being in community and connected to other people genuinely. So another concept is being explored by many – it is the concept not of ‘boundary’ but of ‘margin’. A margin is not a ‘wall’ – but rather space, on the edge of things, where we can contemplate the interrelatedness of everything.
We don’t manage good relationships by building walls, we managed them by making sure that we are not overwhelmed, that we have created spaces to think and reconnect with our own inner life, and to reflect on each interaction we have on a daily basis.
One of my favorite boundaries is having a good long walk or run in the morning, sometimes in the evening. It is a time to think about the day past and the day ahead, and to reflect on my many relationships.
Find a margin today, and give yourself time to think.
From the UK, Matthew loved US culture from the first time he picked up a Fantastic Four Comic when he was 12.