In 1979, a passenger jet carrying 250 people left New Zealand for a sightseeing tour to Antarctica. Unknown to the pilots, their flight coordinates were off slightly, just one degree. A small error, but it put them nearly 30 miles off course by the time they reached Antarctica. Before the pilots could correct the mistake, the plane crashed into Mount Erebus killing everyone on board.
Small mistakes accumulate over time. If something is off course by just one degree, after one foot, it will miss its target by an eighth of an inch. After 100 yards, you’re off course by five feet. After a mile, you’re off by 90 feet. The farther you go, the greater the error.
That principle is why your golf ball ends up 30 yards into the woods. And it’s gospel for architects, construction workers, and bricklayers. In their world, a foundation that’s out of level will multiply its errors across the whole structure.
There’s application for your life as well. In your marriage, in your parenting, and in your career, your choices – for good or for bad – will accumulate over time.
The remedy is to anchor yourself in values that are strong and level. Build your world on a foundation consisting of friends, family, and meaningful faith. When the ground underneath you is steady, the structure of your life will grow straight up and true (Matthew 7:24-25).