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Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives Paperback – March, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
Many believers schedule their time to the hilt, live within their credit limit rather than their means, and displace time with family and God with good things, but not the most important things.
Although Swenson, himself an M.D., practices what he preaches, he does perhaps go a little overboard in some areas (resisting buying a computer, wearing a watch, etc.). But, all in all, he argues for balance and sanity to replace the rat race many Christians join. He gives the reader permission to be counter-cultural. He asks us if we could imagine Jesus leaving the Last Supper because His pager went off!
As a pastor of 24 years, I have used this book to help me manage my own life. I have shared its Biblical insights from the pulpit and used this material extensively in my counseling ministry. This is truly a "must read" book. It is a life changer.
Following several years as an associate professor at a state medical school, Swenson now writes and speaks full-time as an expert on the intersection of faith, health, culture and the future. And his insightful analysis here does not disappoint, as he succeeds brilliantly at bridging the gap between the sacred and the secular, the timeless and the temporal.
Defining margin as the space that exists between people and their personal limits, Swenson suggests it is has largely been squeezed out of our lives and become yet another casualty of the harried and hurried times in which we live. Yet margin must be restored if we are to experience health through contentment, simplicity, balance and rest, he says.
From the opening chapter titled "Marginless Living," Swenson describes the decimation left in the wake of living with chronic overload. From our overstressed teachers and overworked farmers to overburdened pastors and overwhelmed parents, society at large has succumbed to the pressures of progress.
And, according to Swenson, the type of overload we are experiencing is a relatively new phenomenon, exponential in growth and unprecedented in scope. Fueled by the power of technology, living today has accelerated to warp speed, with many people yearning for a rest stop, if not an exit ramp, off the frenetic freeway of life.
"Progress's biggest failure has been its inability to nurture and protect right relationships," writes Swenson.Read more ›
That was in 1998 and we haven't regretted it once.
The fruit of this move is becoming evident in our children. They have the time and space they need to mature responsibly and this mom now has the time to live life with them in an incredible environment. We call it Paradise.
We've built learning centers throughout our log home, all through the woods and even in the creek to create a natural sense of adventure because we want our children to enjoy learning while they are young.
Dr. Swenson's Margin, and God's provision, gave us this life.
The book's layout is orderly and the text is easily understood - thankfully, Swenson does not attempt to impress the reader with technical jargon and knows how to address his audience. Swenson organizes the book into three main parts: 1) The problem (pain), 2) the prescription (margin), and 3) the prognosis (health).
As mentioned earlier, Swenson describes the problem of pain and the prescription of margin in layman terms. Swenson describes how we can either place undue pressure on ourselves or allow society to dictate the unrealistic expectations we are expected to live up to today. Especially helpful were the prescriptions Swenson prescribes for dealing with today's insane rat race. Particulary compelling were the suggestions for balance, rest, simplicity, and healthy relationships.
All in all, an excellent read. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars was because I believe (in my humble opinion) that the author spent a little too much time describing the problem - he did not get into a comprehensive definition and description of the term "margin" until 1/3 of the way into the book. Despite this minor complaint, I highly recommend this book. The Christian will be encouraged to just rest in the love and acceptance of Jesus while the unbeliever will be encouraged to consider life is more than just career success and busy activities.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had been wanting to buy this ever since I heard Dr. Swenson on Focus on the Family several years ago.Published 8 months ago by C. Lacen
This book was required reading for a counseling class in graduate school. I wish I had read this book years earlier!! Read morePublished 15 months ago by MichiganGal3
A book about time, relationships, space and our limits. Margin restores what culture has taken away. Read more
This book was recommended to me by a friend who said that it really helped her. It takes a while to get into it. Very sound teaching and advice.Published on October 12, 2013 by SlovakQueen2
I love, love, love this book. I have read it twice. I have highlighted, underlined, reviewed often. If you are hurried and worried. Overdrawn and running on empty. Read morePublished on January 12, 2013 by Indy