WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU UNZIP YOUR TENT EACH MORNING AND LOOK INTO THE WORLD?
I love opening up the door to my tent in the early hours of the morning after a good night sleep. As I unzip the door, who knows what I will see: A stunning sunrise, a thick fog hanging over the valley below as I peer out from the vista of my alpine bivvy, or a herd of yaks like the one’s captured in this photo by my friend Thomas Haines high in the Himalayas. Like the view from my tent, I also wake up each day with a view of the world based upon my knowledge, beliefs, and experiences.
TOP 10 TENT STAKES THAT HOLD UP OUR WORLDVIEW
One of the values of wilderness or adventure trips is they take us to the end of ourselves which opens up the dusty shutters of our soul and ushers in the fresh breeze of a biblical worldview. When we reach our limits, like standing at the edge of a cliff, we finally start looking out the window of our soul to see the world as God sees it. Being pushed to our limits forces us to consider our limitless Creator staring right in our eyes. Sometimes it requires reaching our limits in understanding or physical ability to finally submit to the One who has no limits, Jesus Christ.
King David speaks openly of coming to the end of himself through time in the wilderness. This psalm highlights how his worldview was shaped by simply sleeping under the stars:
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4)
OWNING OUR OWN COLLAGE
Our worldview is simply a collage of knowledge and experiences through which we see and understand the world. It’s important because how we view the world shapes how we live. If it were possible to generalize the main features of one’s worldview, I suppose it could be broken down into ten main areas of knowledge and experience. The ancients used different words than we do today. But like the tent pegs that hold up our tent in the furry of a storm, there are ten main pegs of knowledge that prop up our worldview.
You’ll recognize each of these tent pegs because they are all a regular part of what we study in school: Theology, Philosophy, Ethics, Biology (and the Sciences), Psychology, Sociology, Law, Politics, Economics, History. This blog series, Using Outdoor Ministry to Teach the Worldview of Jesus, will address how outdoor adventure and time in the wilderness with God can be like reading a Worldview for Dummies book full of tangible illustrations and object lessons to show us what the Bible teaches about these 10 aspects of our worldview. As another resource, my book, Christian Outdoor Leadership dives into a deep well of object lessons and teachable moments we can experience from time spent in the outdoors.
David, the wilderness theologian that he was, had his view of God profoundly shaped by such experiences as star-gazing and waking up at dawn to realize that God had been present with him as he arose to meet the morning:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths,you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
THE WILDERNESS NEVER LIES, BUT OUR WORLDVIEW MIGHT BE FULL OF ‘EM.
The wilderness is real and never lies. I look out of my tent at it’s pristine beauty, and know that it is true, God created it. Yet when I look into the landscape of my personal worldview, it might be full of lies, misconceptions, and worldly ideas. As we gain a Biblical worldview, we begin to see that God’s Word has something to say about each of these 10 aspects of our worldview. The Creation is full of illustrations and teachable moments to help us grasp the comprehensive worldview that the Bible is offering us.
CONSIDER WHERE & WITH WHOM YOU SPEND YOUR TIME
Let’s face it, ideas have consequences, good or bad. Ideas determine how we behave. And ideas are caught through what we study, watch, and listen to. Ideas are caught like catching a cold. So consider who and where you spend your time. Who do you spend the most time with? You might be catching their ideas (good or bad). And where do you spend your time? The ancients, like David, spent considerable time in the outdoors where they were constantly reminded of God’s character through the way he designed Creation. How much time do you regularly spend in retreat in the outdoors? Consider this: Your time outdoors or lack thereof, might also be impacting your worldview (good or bad).
By contrast, decide now to immerse yourself in Jesus and a biblical view of the world. The Bible offers a breathtaking view of pristine beauty like unzipping your tent at sunrise to the view of an untouched wilderness landscape. I think we would all prefer that view if we had the choice.
We do have that choice.
- Spend some time out in Creation and do something that will take you to the end of yourself (like a long hike, a day of solitude, a few hours of complete silence, etc.)
- From your time of silence or solitude, name one area of your life that feels out of control, or unsettling to you. Search God’s Word for what it says about that issue?