Just Two Degrees

Just Two Degrees

Two weekends ago I attended my fifth marriage retreat with my hubby. This being the five year anniversary of the retreat, Friday night we had a lovely banquet. Then we even got snowed in. Yep, it started snowing that Friday afternoon and snowed all evening into the next day. The white blanket reached about six inches where we were staying in the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge.

Our speakers were Willie and Antonia McLaurin. During our first session, Willie said something that stuck with me. I’ve dubbed it the importance of just two degrees.

Willie told about a plane ride in which he sat next to a man who did computations for NASA. He asked the man what would happen if we were on a trip to the moon but was only off by two degrees. The man told Willie that just by being off by two degrees we would miss the moon by several million miles. Such a small amount to be off but such a major difference in where you would end up.

Willie proceeded to relate this to our marriages. Suppose we shifted just two degrees everyday – just changed little things everyday. Couldn’t those little things make a big difference? For example: What if as a couple set aside a few moments of quality time together each day? Soon your relationship would grow as you focus on each other each day.

Then I started thinking about this principle of two degrees in my own life. What could I do if I shifted two degrees in some areas? I started with my daily Bible reading/quiet time. It is so easy for me to just skim through without really paying attention. This doesn’t help me internalize or put into practice what I am reading. So I shifted two degrees. I implemented a small change.

Now instead of just reading my Bible passages, I keep a daily journal in which I comment on what I read. This keeps me from just reading and checking it off. It makes me consider what I am reading and more likely to apply and share it.

How often have a I heard and even proven that changing one small thing with my diet or exercise can make a big difference in my overall health?

My chosen word for guiding my year is requiring some small shifts. I chose diligent as my word for 2017. The word means steady, earnest, and energetic effort. That should characterize all that I do for the Lord, which involves everything I endeavor to do. As the verse says, “work as unto the Lord” and all is done for the glory of God. One small change here is to watch my time management, making sure I’m not squandering any precious time.

Let’s face it. I’m a work in progress. But I don’t have to tackle something big to make a big difference. Just a two degree shift in the right direction could make a big difference in where I end up.

I believe God would be a proponent of my principle of just two degrees. In fact, I think He leads me in making these little changes. God doesn’t automatically make me just like Jesus when I accept Him as Savior. Nope, God starts the process of molding and shaping me. Sometimes I might shift two degrees in the wrong direction, and God has to set me back on course. Other times I shift according to His calculations and directions, and I end up more like Jesus.


Paula Mowery About Paula Mowery

Paula is a pastor’s wife, mom to a college student, author, acquiring editor, and speaker. No matter the hat she wears, she strives to honor God’s plan even if it means going out on a limb and leaving comfort zones. Reviewers have characterized her writing as “thundering with emotion.” Her book, Be The Blessing, won the 2014 Selah Award in the novella category. You can follow Paula on Facebook and learn more about her at her blog.


  1. LOVE this, Paula. And so true. I think those “small” efforts we make are often the most important. (And I love any reference to space 🙂

  2. Thanks Cherie. Glad you liked this. (Even the space part – LOL)

  3. What an inspiring post, Paula! I am attempting to make some two degree shifts of my own this year. As you said, we are always a work in progress!

  4. Thanks Patti! Hopefully, we’ll both stay motivated to make those little shifts. Love you, Sister.

  5. Paula, I just shared this on my FB and Twitter. Since I read it, I have not been able to stop thinking about those two degrees. I first heard something similar to this (but not nearly as eloquent and instructive) in my first year of marriage, related to goal-setting. I feel convicted that God wanted me to revisit it now 23 years later in regard to the many things I endeavor to do for Him at present. Thank you, thank you.

  6. Thanks Danetta. I’m glad this struck a chord with you. Blessings!

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