Connections, Culture, and Choice
Sometime during a week-long visit to Williamsburg, VA and many of its historical offerings, a pattern emerged that connected not only the places we visited but also propelled my thinking in some interesting ways.
The area presents colonial, Revolutionary War, and Civil War history. As we moved from one to another, I realized the connections – and there are many, many threads – linking them to one another.
Various threads make up my own life, and understanding their connections helps understand my own perspectives much like understanding these historical connections helps me understand the various perspectives involved in the history of our country’s beginnings.
Visiting various historical sites and museums also showed the interaction of culture, both in good and bad ways. African Americans, English, and Native Americans were the major groups, though many others were involved too.
My own culture is unclear to me. Only in a very broad sense do I understand personally what culture means. In other words, I am not sure how to define my culture.
African Americans fighting for their freedom. English settlers choosing to be Loyalists or Rebels or to remain neutral. A country choosing to war with itself.
Considering how my own choices affect not just me but those around me is important. Further, how does this idea of connections and attempts to define culture impact my choices? How does it shift my gaze?
The value of understanding history became clearer to me during this visit. So did the value of self-reflection based on the concepts that stood out to me that week.
As a Christian, I want to make connections to God’s truths as explained in his word. I want to understand what being a Christian means for me culturally. I also want to develop cultural sensitivity in a way that shows love toward all people. Threaded through all of this is the idea of filtering my choices through God’s will in each of these areas.