Running late for the show, we still took the time to buy popcorn and drinks. And, large drinks in tow, we definitely had to stop by the ladies' room before sitting down for a two-hour movie. When we entered the dark theater we assumed the previews would still be rolling.
But we were wrong. Although the movie couldn't have been in progress for too long, we had definitely missed the beginning of the show. Still, how much difference could a few minutes of scene-setting make in understanding the movie? Right?
And indeed, as the movie progressed and a few gaps in our comprehension surfaced, we were able to fill in those gaps with our imaginations and clues from the rest of the story. We left the theater feeling like we'd seen the whole picture.
And I would have maintained that assumption except a few months later my family wanted to rent the movie my friend and I had watched that day. As I sat on the sofa and watched the beginning minutes of the movie, I realized I had actually missed some key scenes the first time I'd seen it. And by the time the story ended, my appreciation of the movie had grown exponentially. True, I had been able to follow the plot line just fine the first time I saw it in the theater. But this time, after viewing the beginning of the show, the movie had a sweeter feel, a more triumphant ending.
I had seen the full picture--
from the very beginning--
and it made a difference.
We might like to think that beginnings aren't really essential to the "rest of the story," but they are. That's why we love to hear how married couples met. We women love to tell the stories of birthing or adopting our babies. We listen attentively as our friends tell the stories of their earliest memories, their childhood, their family of origin.
The beginning sets the stage. But it also sets the wheels in motion, determines the direction, establishes the purposes and sets the tone.
The view we gain from correctly understanding our beginning matters, too. So much of how we relate to the world, to other people, and, especially, to God is determined by our understanding of
The View from the Beginning
You might like to read or skim
as your devotional Bible reading today.
Genesis means "beginning."
Our Bibles, God's chosen revelation in Word to man, starts off, "In the beginning..." That tells me that God wants us to grab our popcorn and drink and get seated before the lights dim and the story begins. He wants us to know the beginning of the story. Our story, His story, is not one of those that can be tapped into halfway through the show. We need to have a clear understanding of the beginning.
What do we need to know about our beginning? From a brief perusal of Genesis 1-3, I identify at least a dozen premises that are important for understanding "the rest of the story."
- There is a God.
- That God created all that is in the world.
- That includes people.
- People are designed in the image or likeness of that God.
- God was pleased with His creation.
- God created the man and woman differently.
- God gave people a purpose and work to do.
- God was good to give people choices.
- Man and woman chose to disobey the God who created them.
- Thus, sin entered the world...and God's perfect world broke.
- God sought out man and woman after they had sinned.
- There are consequences to sin.
- God loved people enough to keep us from living forever in our sinful condition.
- God initiated a loving and merciful plan to redeem people and restore the world.
And that's just after a cursory perusal of the beginning. Perhaps you noticed other elements of the beginning that are crucial to establishing the setting for His story. Please share your observations in the comment section :)
But what does all of that have to do with my my-world view, the way I see and operate in my little corner of His big world? (Because that's what we're addressing in this Your World, His View series, after all.)
Here are a few questions to answer about how you operate in your little world based on the view from the beginning:
- Who is in charge of my world? Not just the big world, but my world?
- How can I have a relationship with the God who created me? Does He want to have a relationship with me?
- What is my purpose in my world? Or at least, where can I discover my purpose?
- What is my role as a woman? Is it really different from that of a man?
- Why do bad things happen to me and my loved ones? Does God even care?
Truth is, we've all formed answers to these questions by the time we're adults. But are your answers based upon the view from the beginning, found in the book of beginnings, the book of Genesis, specifically the first three chapters? Or have you filled in the gaps with your imagination or clues you've gathered from the middle of the story the way I did the day I missed the beginning of the movie?
Why not take a few minutes today to think through or even write out your answers to these foundational questions? They're not academic, you know. They're everyday-where-the-rubber-hits-the-road questions. They are the foundations for so many other questions that life throws at you on any given day. Questions pertaining to our marriages, our careers, our prayers, our worship, the way we raise our children.
Maybe you'll realize that you've filled in the blanks on so many of these questions without really thinking about the view from the beginning found in Genesis 1-3. I encourage you, then, to pop you some popcorn, grab a soda, maybe even some chocolate covered raisins, and sit down to view the beginning of the story. This life, this very real life, is one of those stories that really hinges on a powerful beginning. You don't want to miss it.
Has looking at the view from the beginning changed the way you interact with your little world recently? How?
I'd like to recommend my Bible study The View from My Front Porch if you're looking for a more in-depth approach to building a biblical worldview.
Labels: The View from My Front Porch, Worldview, Your World God's View