Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Amish Have It Right

Imagine if one did not have to worry about the rising cost of the price of gas.
Imagine if one did not have to deal with the high costs of utility payments.
Imagine if one did not have to deal with credit card (and other) bills.
Imagine if one did not have to deal with the ills of today's society - the lack of morals, the tossing out of traditions that have sustained our society for centuries and could still for centuries to come.
Imagine if one could live the way people used to, before technology lead us astray from what life is really supposed to be about.
Imagine if one could live the Christian life without the ills of today's society coming at them from every direction.
Just imagine...
Well, I have been imagining. A lot.
Even more now that I reenact the 1860's.
Even more now that I study the lifestyle - every minute detail - of that period in time.
And I have come to a conclusion: maybe the Amish got it right. Really. Think about it - - - - They farm their land to survive, which is what I feel we were pretty much meant to do. And they work as a family to get the job done. They eat together. Spend time together. And have a strong community bond. They build their own homes - homes without electricity and, therefore, no MTV, Sex In the City, porn on computers, movies about violence, commercials for the latest unnecessary garbage that we shell out hundreds of dollars for (can anyone say Wiiiiii!!!!), ads for the newest "must wear" styles...the list could go on and on.
But, most importantly, the Amish are independant. They have no need for gas and oil, therefore are not affected by the current screwing of Americans by their own politicians.
OK, well, maybe the Amish that sell goods to us "English" might be affected, but they will survive.
But, we are slaves to technology. We want and need the latest whatever it is they're selling us. We need gas and are willing to pay more than four bucks a gallon so we can drive two blocks to the store. And, instead of wearing and repairing our clothing so they last, we get the latest fashions every season.
But, for the Amish, instead of worrying about all of these modern whatevers, their concern is to make sure they have enough food planted to sustain them, and will work as many hours as needed to ensure this. They don't look to or need the government for help. They take care of their own.
What a concept!
I mean, they have remained steadfast in their lifestyle, clothing styles, religious beliefs, and being the butt of many jokes by 'modern folk.' Yet, they continue living this life. Why is that? Because they have something that most of us don't have - and may never have. True peace. Peace with themselves. With God. And with each other.
My question is, at the rate that our society is shredding itself to bits, will we non-Amish survive?
Do you remember about a year ago when that maniac entered an Amish school and killed all of those innocent Amish children? Do you also recall how the families of the victims responded? They prayed with and for the family of the murderer. They forgave the killer and helped out his family with whatever they could.
I pray that I could be like that should, God forbid, anything like that happen in my family.
But, that is what the Amish are all about. I have nothing but respect and, yes, even envy/jealousy for them.
To live like they do where I live at this time could never work. I live in the middle of the city with no hope of moving in the near future (the economy, don't cha know), and it would be virtually impossible to attempt an Amish-type lifestyle at this time.
But, who knows...maybe one day. As long as I don't have to grow a beard.
Independance...it's a beautiful thing.


Unknown said...

Hey, Brother Ken. Don't be too envious of the Amish folks. They have problems, too. "Folks is folks" after all.

I also wanted to throw this out there for you to think about: who says you can't live like the Amish in your corner of the world? I don't mean that you should buy a horse or grow a beard, but the thing that strikes me about the Amish (by and large) is how intentionally they live. They use technology - some of it very, very modern - but they always use it strategically. In other words, they have to think, reflect and pray about how the adoption of different types of technology will affect their (communal and personal) relationship with God. Seems to me that you can do that anywhere.

Grace and Peace,


Mike Gillett said...

We lived in an Amish Community when in rural Ohio. A lot of the same social ills as the English. Just a different medium.

Teens used to drive by our house on buggy and throw produce at our house ("Drive-By Fruitings") and would drive the buggies with their hats on sideways, with a distinctive "gangsta lean"... picture of a car stereo from a box dug out of the dumpster behind K-Mart taped inside of their buggy... cruising.

One nearby family had some decidedly "Jerry Springer" ills. Incest and spousal abuse and, ultimately, suicide by the father.

Pornography, alcohol and drug abuse. Plain clothes... artificial colored/flavored Cheetos and Eskimo pies bought at Kroger. Never deodorant.

Sin is sin, regardless of the century.

Remember that Amish do what they do for spiritual reasons... A prominent "works theology"...

And, if I can be so bold, one that is selective. They won't own a car, but will be happy to ride in your van ("Yoder Toters")... no phone but will be happy to use yours... no electricity, but will buy a freezer and put it in your garage and keep their stuff in it for a rental fee.

Like religion and civilization of all generations, there are those who look for loop-holes.

I laugh... why did they stop "evolving" and eschewing things after 1880s? Can you imagine if they did so and live in the 1950s instead.

Not idyllic in totality, but enviable in part.

Talk to you later... enjoyed our conversation yesterday. Glad the event went well...