A Few Degrees of Adjustment Now . . .


. . . can make a huge difference later!

Many years ago, the head of the department I worked in was talking to us about major long-term changes that we needed to make, and, frankly, the plan he explained sounded pretty overwhelming.  But, he gave us an explanation for change that I have always remembered and that made the changes he wanted seem less intimidating.

He was a retired Captain in the Navy, so he naturally used a ship as his example. 

He told us to envision a ship way out in the ocean that wants to change its destination from one far-away port  to another.  Even though the distance between the two ports themselves is thousands of miles, because the  destinations are both so far away from the ship, the Captain doesn’t have to immediately order a hard turn in the direction of the new port.  He only has to order that their course be altered by a few degrees.    A small adjustment now that will ultimately change the destination  by thousands of miles!

I thought that was such a great mental picture to explain how small changes in the way things are done now can make huge differences in the long term.  And, it comes to mind when I am looking at a “huge” goal in my life, like weight loss or organization.  If I change a few things about my eating habits today, I can achieve that 20 lb. weight loss.  If I just pay a little more attention to keeping our household paperwork organized during the year, it will make a huge difference in how easy tax preparation is in April.

May God help each of us to see small changes that we can make today that will result in significant, God-pleasing changes in who we are in the future.

12 Responses to A Few Degrees of Adjustment Now . . .

  1. Caution says:

    This analogy surely has me thinking. Maybe if I could see most of life’s changes like that, I could adjust easier ??

  2. Hilary says:

    Wonderful post, Sandra… at just the right time for me personally. Thank you.

  3. Sandra says:

    Caution — I’m glad if this made you look at anything in your life in a new or different light. In my opinion, that is one of the greatest compliments any of us can have about something we have written. Thank you.

  4. Pam says:

    Isnt that the truth!! We are always trying to make the hard turn, instead of the minor ones. I LOVE this!!! Great post!

  5. Sandra says:

    Hilary — Isn’t it interesting how often it works out that way. You have certainly done the same for me at times.

    Pam — Amen.

  6. That’s so true! 🙂 It’s also a good reason for not leaving decisions until the last minute.

  7. Beth says:

    I think the ship analogy is great! I like that old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” But steering a ship is a much more pleasant thought than eating an elephant! 🙂

  8. Sandra says:

    Rachel — You’re right. Easier to say than to do though. 🙂

    Beth — I like steering a ship alot better than eating an elephant too! 🙂

  9. Sally says:

    Hi Sandra,
    You’ve visited both me and my husband today and left the nicest comments. Thank you. I like your thoughts on change, especially changing so that we are more pleasing to God.

  10. Sandra says:

    Hi, Sally — welcome! I enjoyed your blog too. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Barb says:


    Wonderful post! I took some ‘baby steps’ last year with the household/business tax paperwork, but this inspires me to continue on with it. It is a lot of pressure for me. Thanks for the pep talk.


  12. Sandra says:

    Barb — Actually it was a little pep talk for myself too. I am NOT organized, and it makes my life wayyyyy more complicated than it needs to be. 🙂

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