Truth be told, this is "Early Monday Morning Tea". Hubby was using the computer during my prime pondering time yesterday to listen to a Bears game and then track his fantasy football statistics. He is playing against family this time as it is the week he and the world's best son-in-law face off. I hear it was tied the last time he checked.
I tried to write yesterday evening but the prose came off as a Dick and Jane primary reader so I gave up and finished White Christmas Pie. I'll write more about the book soon. I've been thinking a lot of the Amish lately. I guess partly because of books I've been reading and recipes I've been perusing... and rethinking through our trips to Shipshewana (Indiana) and Lancaster County (Pennsylvania) in late Spring.
Now, I'm not one to put them on a pedestal and say they are perfect, far from it. They are human and I'm sure in every family we will find the same sinful nature as we "English" show in our own homes. I'm certain we will meet people who are quite legalistic as well as the merciful. Just like in my own church. :)
But I still admire them. To choose a simple lifestyle in the age of computers, video games, twenty-four hour news channels, and FedEx shipping overnight... it takes courage and commitment. I love the way their very life is a daily reminder of their faith and the choices they have made.
I have a few pictures of Amish scenes hanging in my home. One is a print purchased by my husband long ago, a scene of an Amish barn raising. He liked it because of what it represents... unity, neighbors helping each other, fellowship, belonging... being God in the flesh for each other.
So, what does this mean to me in the midst of a somewhat normal 21st century life? Choices. What am I doing to make my life less chaotic, at least that part of my life in which I have some amount of control? I have no control over an economy falling apart, natural disasters, crime statistics, or living in a society that knows more about Paris Hilton than Jesus Christ.
If I choose a prime rib and champagne existence then I will have to do what is necessary to bring in enough income to live that life. If I decide that to be happy I must live in a house with 5,000 sq. ft. and vacation in Aruba each year... then I have to pay for it out of my time allotted each day.
Now some people are truly gifted from God with an abundance and that is not what I'm talking about and I think you can understand that. No... what I've come to realize (and remember I am a recovering Yuppie) is that we can choose a simple life and all that God provides for us as we do the work that is set before us without giving up family, friendships, community, and our time with Him. Without giving up what is truly living.
A couple of years after I left the corporate world, I realized that none of the projects I worked on... into the wee small hours of the morning at times... were in existence, anymore. At least not as when I worked on them. Some had morphed under another title but the world didn't fall apart when I left as I had been made to believe by the corporate culture in which I lived at the time.
We won't be making the choice to all dress alike and everyone live off the land. But there has to be at least one thing we can do this week to simplify our life in the long run and take us off the materialistic roller coaster ... purchase a little extra for the pantry, decide what is luxury and what is necessity, cook at home, strengthen a friendship, get to know a neighbor, watch less TV, throw away a catalog, spend less then we earn, start a scrapbook journal, ... ask God for wisdom.
Take care of each other, we're in for quite a ride but God is in control and we are in the palm of His hand.