This past weekend I was trapped in a FedEx office for a few minutes, waiting for someone making an order, so I did what I normally do and looked around trying to kill time. While there I found a book that talked about the 212 difference.
The concept is pretty simple. It's how a tiny bit more can make all the difference in what we do. The title of the book is based around water. At 211 degrees Fahrenheit, you have hot water. At 212 degrees you have boiling water, you have steam, you have power. That tiny bit makes all the difference. The rest of the book pointed out different times in history where the difference between success and failure was a little more perseverance.
What was really amazing is I witnessed it firsthand later that night. We were at the Indiana State Percussion Finals, the last chance to win it all. Teams performed based on how they places the week before, so we knew in one division the home school was set to win their division. They didn't. Instead they came in third. By 0.125%. In that competition the margin between first and third was 1/8th of a point.
It's got me thinking about my faith and what I do. What if I pushed just a little bit more? What kind of a difference would it make if I read my Bible just a few more minutes a day, prayed a few more minutes, served just a little bit more? What if I applied that thinking to my ministry, to my marriage, even my hobbies? How often have people been on the cusp of success but they slack off or give up?
I don't know, if I had been told before a competition the difference between first and third would have been 0.125%, how much harder would I have practiced? Since I usually don't know that, I guess I'll just have to assume it and work hard all the time...