Its amazing to me how a few degrees can make all the difference. During the winter, we like to keep our home at 72 degrees during the day and about 68 degrees at night. It just seems that those are the optimal temperatures for us as a family. It doesn’t seem like much, but that four degree separation is everything in terms of the girls being warm enough during the day, and my ability to sleep semi-cool at night. Its the balance of powers, a middle ground, a center, the difference between not having a blanket around you while doing the dishes, and having a gas bill that is manageable and consistent. Just a few degrees.
In my leisure time I like to do a few things that are also regulated by a measurement of degrees and inches. I have been a life-long fly fisherman, gun enthusiast, and in more recent years, a lover of golf. Each of these activities require some degree of precision in terms of how you approach them in order to enjoy some modicum of success. In golf I have learned that a degree or two off at impact can have catastrophic results in terms of hitting your intended target. It can mean the difference between your next shot being from the fairway, or taking a drop from a lost ball in the water hazard or out of bounds. It can be the difference between par and quadruple bogey.
In James 3, the author speaks of small things that can affect the journey, trajectory and direction of our lives. The incremental shift of a small rudder on the ship can change its course and direction in such a way that a few degrees can mean the difference between hitting an ice berg or reaching paradise. Such is our walk with Christ. It’s amazing to me how far off course you can get by being just a few degrees off in your thinking and or the choices you make. Often times we don’t even realize how far off we are, until we have felt the full effect or results of those few degrees. Whether we end up in the rough, out of bounds, or on some distant shore, Gods Grace is abundant, ever present, and in full effect at all times. He is wonderfully aware that we can get off track on our journey by several degrees. He is there, by the Holy Spirit; coaching, correcting, adjusting, and helping us to keep our alignment and focus, which is always Christ.