They thought she was standoffish, at the very least anti-social. They would smile at her, but she was unresponsive. It was as if she was blind.
She nearly was. She wasn’t being rude or unsociable. She was just extremely near-sighted.
My grandmother, born in 1897, had poor vision. But in the early 20th century, it wasn’t easy for someone to realize the quality of their vision. Then one day, staring out a window, she was surprised that she could see farther and more clearly. Things seemed to be in better focus. How could that be? Windows in her day were not like our modern panes of glass. In 1910 rural America, window panes were often characterized by slight distortions, waves, and even tiny bubbles.
Looking through a wavy glass windowpane proved to be an “aha” moment for my grandmother as she discovered that glasses might help her bring things into a clearer focus.
The lens through which we view the world makes a difference.
Likewise, the lens through which we view the world impacts how we interpret reality. And how we interpret reality impacts the decisions we make about how to live. That perspective on life, often referred to as a worldview, is formed over time through the influence of family, friends, church, education, and the culture at large. Sadly, for many, social trends, the media, and celebrity endorsements often color the way we think and live far more than any absolute standard of truth.
We now live in a post-Christian culture. Faith is considered irrelevant, morality is viewed as an outdated concept, and the world mockingly belabors the rhetorical question Pontius Pilate uttered centuries ago, “What is truth?” In today’s world, “everything’s relative,” “if it feels good, do it,” “whoever dies with the most toys wins,” and “follow your heart” are popular mantras that both influence and guide personal decision-making. Is it any surprise that people who follow such philosophies eventually ask themselves, “how did I end up here?”
It’s easy to be blind to the truth when you have a distorted view of reality.
I recall how the late Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and Breakpoint Ministries, answered Pilate’s age-old question. What is truth? It is that which reflects or conforms to reality. He also believed you could decide which window/worldview gave the most authentic view of reality by comparing how they answered these questions.
- Where did I come from?
- What’s wrong with the world?
- What’s the solution?
- What’s my purpose?
What is your worldview? How does that worldview answer the four questions above?
The situation we find ourselves in is not unlike that of my grandmother looking out of various window panes with different variations of waviness. Only one helped her see life outside as it truly was. A tagline at https://breakpoint.org/about/ sums it up this way, “We live in a moment of cultural confusion. Fewer and fewer of the things that give meaning to our lives come easily. Family, community, beauty, truth seem to be constantly eroding around us—while our news feeds are full of despair, anger, and division.”
I visit my optometrist every year. With a family history of glaucoma, I think it is essential to keep a close “eye” on my vision. Besides, much like my grandmother, I need to wear glasses to see things clearly. Having the right prescription makes a difference. Just as having a worldview that sees reality as it is, makes a difference too.
C.S. Lewis, in his book The Weight of Glory, leaves no doubt through which windowpane/worldview he views life. “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else.”
Curious about improving your vision? Interested in learning how to think clearly and discern issues and trends in our post-Christian culture?
Check out these two sites.
Just think of it as a visit to your Life Optometrist.