Understanding one’s worldview requires serious reflection and deliberation. Describing a worldview can be daunting to formulate, let alone articulate. However, in one’s worldview lies the potential answers to life and how one thinks and lives it out. This paper tries to uncover one person’s understanding through basic questions like: who has significantly impacted your worldview? And who has significantly affected your worldview? Although, the results are limited, they reveal that foundational questions are the beginnings of the journey. When one discovers answers, those answers can be the catalyst to further investigations and revelation. The results hold great importance to believers.
There are some things in life which take little thought to explain. It takes little effort to describe how to make a sandwich, or how to plant a seed. Then, there are technical tasks, where the description for completion involves a logical thought process. Instructions on how to bake a cake, change a tire, and balance a checkbook are a few examples. Life is made up of most of these interactions. Our days are filled with living and we become caught up in the ordinary.
When presented with the task of explaining how our worldview evolved, thinking came into deep waters. How does one arrive to the sixth decade without an understanding of their worldview? It was a revelation. Life goes on, day by day, and we make decisions and perform duties without thought to why we do what we do? “Our worldview generally lies so deeply embedded in our subconscious that unless we have reflected long and hard, we are unaware of what it is.” CITATION Jam09 \p 21 \l 1033 (Sire, The Universe Next Door, 2009, p. 21) It behooves us to be stirred from time to time, to think through where we stand. As followers of Christ, Christians should, “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” (I Peter 3:15b New International Version) The best place to start the search is by asking questions.
The first question asked is, “What person has significantly impacted your worldview?” Thoughts about my childhood include my grandmother. She was my grandmother on my mother’s side (hereon called Grandma M). Even though she was short in stature, plump, round, and soft, she was the safe place for me to fall. Times in her home were pleasant, her influence meaningful in many ways.
Grandma M married young and had six children. Life was not easy, as my grandfather was an alcoholic. Stories were told how he would “drink away” his paycheck leaving his family without income. But Grandma M remained strong. Why? Because she had faith in God and the Lord, Jesus Christ. As a child, her witness was evident to me. Her words and life-style gave evidence to a Christian life. As Sire would say, “each of us possesses a unique character out of which we think, desire, weight consequences, refuse to weight consequences, indulge, reuse to indulge – in short, choose to act.” CITATION Jam09 \p 33 \l 1033 (Sire, The Universe Next Door, 2009, p. 33) Grandma M’s witness caused me to search into faith. Her rigid church regulations did not fit my perceptions of a believer, so the exploration of another church brought me more answers. It was at this place of worship that faith became real. My Christian worldview began when Christ was accepted. Grandma M impacted my world. She was the light on my path to beginning a worldview.
If an experience is retold that answers the question, “Name one experience that has significantly affected your worldview,” it would include my other grandmother, Grandma P. She always impressed me. Getting to know her history made me all the more impressed. Being single, she began a business back in the 1940s to support herself and her family. Grandma owned a restaurant with a boarding house upstairs. Her strength and self-reliance were always seen. Yet, her boarders were like family to her along with the regular customers and workers at the restaurant. Love was felt in her presence. She was someone to emulate.
Once my faith began to formulate, I became earnest in my witness, a desire that others would see God in me.
As God himself is the really real, the ultimate ground of being and the creator of all being other than himself, so devoted Christians live not for themselves but for God…To glorify God is not just to do so in the religious worship, singing praise and enacting the traditional rites of the church. To glorify God is to reveal his character by being who we were created to be – the embodiment of the image of God in human form.CITATION Jam09 \p 45 \l 1033 (Sire, The Universe Next Door, 2009, p. 45)A burden for the sharing of Christ to unsaved family and friends was born. And hence, the answer to the question arises. The experience that impacted my worldview was telling Grandma P about what God had done in my life, that she could experience it in her life, his love for her and, his plans after we die. That day, as Grandma P listened, the Holy Spirit did his work, and she accepted Christ as her Savior. The day will forever be etched for myself. In my desire to follow Jesus, it would include helping others to know him too. Sire explains it as not just thinking about our worldview but showing it by what we do. CITATION Sir15 \p 51 \l 1033 (Sire, Naming the Elephant, 2015, p. 51)The experiences and people in life have helped shape the worldview I am beginning to understand. Although Sire says it well when it mentions it will take a lifetime. CITATION Jam09 \p 17 \l 1033 (Sire, The Universe Next Door, 2009, p. 17) Nothing worth doing or knowing is accomplished in the blink of an eye. The added reading of other worldviews helps formulate where one stands as well. Just recently a scripture was shared where Paul says to the Ephesians, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17 New International Version). Where my worldview is fixed becomes the foundation to life. Knowing God better and better is that foundation and becomes the commitment made to living and how it works out in my life.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Sire, J. W. (2009). The Universe Next Door. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press.
Sire, J. W. (2015). Naming the Elephant. Downers Grove: Ivpress.