Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Amish Life Lessons 101

My family has gotten the neat opportunity the last few months for some cooperative farming efforts with an Amish Mennonite family who lives near our community.

It has been refreshing to interact with them and their five children...to watch their different pace of life...and to try to learn something from their priorities of community and family.

This week we were at the farm and got the chance to visit for a few minutes...and I had the most fascinating conversation with the husband.

He was asking me about the mission trip I took to Panama earlier this summer. He was so interested in the climate, landscape and farming techniques found there. He just asked me question after question about the Panamanian lifestyle. As we talked, I related how I was so touched by the relational focus of the Panamanians versus the time & task oriented American lifestyle...

(Now, here is where the conversation got mind-blowing for me.)

..and this Amish Mennonite man agreed. He related how he wished his life could have a different pace and be controlled less by time and the dollar. He went on to share how he feels that his grandparents couldn't have known the types of things that we face and, as much as he wants to live differently, he finds the culture rubbing off on him.


I mean this man farms with his family for a living. They grow or make much of what they use. They don't have electricity or vehicles. I don't think they have house payments or insurance premiums. And they live right in the middle of a cooperative community of like-minded individuals who, by my perspective, could survive together indefinitely even if the whole of American culture crumbled.

And he wishes for a different way of life.

I mean, the way he and his family lives reflects many of the ideals that I have wrestled with how to achieve for my own family. That is what even led us to pursue the small cooperative efforts that his family have so graciously allowed us to partake with them.

And yet his statements so reflect my statements. He appears to be wrestling with the same concepts I'm wrestling with.

So this leaves me perplexed. What does this mean in regards to the pursuit for simple living? I would love to hear any of your thoughts and experiences on the matter.

Looking forward to conversation...

1 comment:

Brittany said...

wow...hmmm I have no idea what to say to this so i'll just rattle off some things on my mind.

When we went to Panama, I loved it there. I loved having no phone, no communication and just being around different people. They touched my life far more than I feel I touched theirs.

Ryan and I live pretty simply. We have only like 3 bills (which will probably change when we're 27-8 and having kids lol) Everything we own we've gotten from others, we try to keep it down to minimalist living so that we appreciate the little that we have been blessed with and focus on traveling, spending quality time with each other, etc.

We don't even have TV!! lol We don't watch local broadcasting, we use our TUBE TV for video games, and movies...

I like the way we live, but i'm always wondering if even the little we have is TOO much in somebody else's eyes. We've also had the problem ( A LOT) of people not understanding how we can be so happy with little. Its not that we're destitute or anything. We have everything we need to survive and be happy :)

I think this will become an age-old question/discussion and I love LOVE talking about it.

See you at creative worship!!!!

xo. B