Three Degrees

 

DSC01713-e1357596929807-300x254Mr. Wonderful retired early into the world of law enforcement. The bad news is I’m “enjoying” stories about his breaking down doors, citing  traffic violations, and encountering billowing marijuana smoke from cars stopped on the side of the road. The good news is he’s providing quite a few thought-provoking ideas, and I’m sharing one today.

His concept of three degrees relates to last week’s post, True North, in which I explored the concept of following true north to stay on course. Three degrees fine tunes that idea. Specifically, during target practice, he says it’s easy to think he’s on target. But if his sight is off just three degrees in any direction — a veritable smidgen at the muzzle tip — the shot veers dangerously off-target by the time it reaches the bulls eye.

So what about three degrees in terms of life? Small choices seeming inconsequential, minor compromises, carelessness or thoughtlessness…all can lead to much bigger misfires when they reach their conclusion. My personal failure — not making time to study the Bible daily — is a perfect example of three degrees. So is running a stop sign or speaking when it’s best to remain silent.

I propose there’s a correlation between staying on target and spending at least ten minutes focusing on God every single day. (I just admitted failure.) If I will allocate time to read a chapter, or do a devotional (anything by Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton or Richard J. Foster), my chances of not straying three degrees from true north increase exponentially.

If life is a journey, I don’t want to end it lost.