What is the Speed Limit of Your Soul?

{By Ellery Sadler}

How to Create Margins in a Chaotic Culture.

At what point of busyness do you start to lose that Christ-like glow?

I hadn’t heard of the term ‘speed limit of your soul’ until my mom read out of Breathe, by Priscilla Shirer, where she talks about creating margins in your life.

Margins to breathe. Margins of rest. Margins of peace.

creating margins, how to make space in your life

Let’s be honest, life in 2015 as a teenage or twenty-something is less than peaceful. Jobs. School. Deadlines. Girlfriends. Interviews. Internships. Boyfriends. Texting. Social media. Dates. Instagram. Church. Sports. You name it, we do it.

On the seventh day, God created rest. Let that soak in.

God. Created. Rest.

Resting isn’t optional, it isn’t something you do only when you ‘have time’. You need to make time. Your body needs sleep and your soul needs rest.

Sure, you can run for a while snatching only a few hours of sleep here and there. But it will catch up to you. You can’t run on empty for very long without seeing yourself slowly disintegrate. Somewhere along the line between busy and fulfilled, your humor seeps out and life isn’t so funny. Your joy recedes and you’re not so smiley. Your peace disappears in the piling deadlines.

You can be busy doing all the right things and still be missing the point. God made rest for us. He knew that we would become stuff-driven little humans with to-do lists in our brains and goal lists for our lives. And goals are good, as long as they don’t become our god.

He knew we would forget to rest in our race to perform.

So He gave us a reminder in our bodies – the need for sleep. And a more subtle reminder in our souls – the need for rest.

“Listen for the rhythms of God’s grace and live according to its cadence –

easy, light, full of mercy.”

– Priscilla Shirer

So how do you create space for rest? How do you create margins in a time consuming culture of doing?

You learn to say no. A fantastic book I recently read, called The Best Yes, talks about the importance of Christians learning to say no. It can be very easy to take our biblical James theology of doing to the extreme. Yes, faith is completed by good works (James 2:22), but it can also be destroyed by them. When you say yes to every offer, every request, every commitment your spirit is stretched to the breaking point. You’ve maxed out your soul speed limit. Take your foot off the gas and say no to a few things. Slow down. Open up your schedule to the spontaneous.

Also, keep your priorities in order. (Especially when first starting out with this saying no business.) This doesn’t mean you get to always say no to things you just don’t ‘feel’ like doing. It also is not an excuse for backing out of a previously made commitment. But it is a good way to order your life according to your priorities. If family comes first, then spend time with your family. If school is your focus, then organize your week accordingly. Your priorities should be reflected in how and where you spend your time. 

On a daily basis, creating margins can be hard. Between a thousand different things to do, it’s really difficult to find a moment to rest. Difficult, but critical. So schedule out your days. Find a few minutes to just sit and watch the birds or see the snow fall or study the way fire flickers. Light a candle. Read your Bible. Take a few moments to pray. I honestly think there is nothing more restful than prayer.

Margins are meant for giving you a chance to enjoy your life.

Life can’t always be enjoyed a breakneck speed.

Hurtling towards the next goal isn’t always the best way to reach it.

Create margins. Watch the speed limit of your soul, and drive your life accordingly.

What is the speed limit of your soul? How can you create margins? Comment below!