What Lenses Do You Use To See The World?
By WCS Headmaster Dr. Roger Erdvig
Theodore Roosevelt didn’t always wear his famous round spectacles. In fact, we find in his autobiography that it wasn’t until late in his childhood that he even realized that he was terribly nearsighted. Though he loved to study nature as a boy, he recalled that he was “always at a hopeless disadvantage” and befuddled because he couldn’t see—and yet was “wholly ignorant that [he] was not seeing.” When he finally got his first pair of glasses, “an entirely new world was opened” to him.
This is a common story… an elementary student struggles with paying attention in class but then gets glasses and everything changes. An aspiring tennis player can’t improve beyond basic proficiency until he gets glasses and suddenly he can see the ball just as it hits his opponent’s racquet and his game instantly improves.
These are great analogies for another kind of seeing—how we see, understand, and navigate the world around us. Philosophers call this a worldview, and as its name implies, it functions as the lens through which a person views the world. But beyond merely seeing, our worldview dictates how we live in the world.
Our worldview lens is shaped over years of influence from our family, our culture, the time in which we live, and even our own choices and habits. If the influences in a person’s life have been consistent with God’s view of the world, then his or her desires, thoughts, and actions will naturally reflect a Biblical worldview. Conversely, if the influences in a person’s life are not consistent with God’s view, then we should expect to find that his or her desires, thoughts, and actions are not consistent with God’s ways. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
When we survey our parents about their experience at WCS, we consistently find that they send their kids here because we are a Christian school filled with Godly mentors who are committed to providing Godly influences for their students. Wise parents recognize that there is nothing more important than immersing their children in environments that influence them to develop a Biblical worldview. Taking our cue from Teddy Roosevelt, we can see how foolish it would be to send our kids out into the world without the proper glasses.
But worldview development is not just for children. At any age, we should be actively involved in learning to see the world through lenses that are genuinely Biblical. The cultural issues we face today are complex and volatile, and we as Christians can’t afford to stumble around with poor eyesight.
There are many resources available to help us refine our worldview lenses. Three in particular are super accessible and all three are podcasts that I regularly listen to. The first is The World and Everything In It, which is a daily half-hour news show that reports on current events from a Biblical worldview perspective. Second is Breakpoint, which is a 5-minute daily reflection on one cultural hot-button issue. Finally, The Briefing is a half-hour, deep-dive into the things everyone is talking about, from global warming to transgender boys participating in girls’ sports. I can assure you that a steady diet of these kinds of Biblical worldview-based podcasts will shape how you see the world.
When I was in first grade, I got my first pair of glasses, and I remember riding home from the optometrist looking out the window amazed at what I saw. Colors were more brilliant. Everything seemed to pop in full 3-D. I saw words everywhere that I had never seen before. At school, I could even see what Mrs. Sloat was writing on the chalkboard. Just like President Roosevelt, having the right lenses to look through literally changed my life.
How about you and your kids? Are you wearing the right lenses, seeing the world the way God sees it?
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