We’re headed to Grandma’s house and as we take the next curve and start up our little song of “over the hill and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go…” I decrease my speed and follow behind an Amish buggy. I can’t see who is inside, but I’m guessing this buggy is either on it’s way home or heading to the next farm over to visit.
Our modes of transportation aren’t as important as that we both have something in common. We’re both headed toward a farm on that same country road, and most likely both farms have family members. We’re visiting Grandma and Pap, while the passengers in that buggy are most likely visiting family, too.
Just because we live in two different cultures, doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything in common. After all, watching that buggy turn down the dirt lane just a mile ahead of the lane we’re turning in, means we’re all neighbors.
Now, the Amish weren’t always taking up residence near our family farm, and most of us think of having to go as far as Lancaster to see them. For many of our urban neighbors, Amish living is a dream or a retail ploy to get them to buy quilts and homemade jam.
But for someone who left the farm, they’re a refreshing sight coming back from the city to spend a little time back home.
We all come from different places in this world, with different backgrounds, and different upbringings.
Life isn’t fair. It’s not supposed to be. God put us all in the places he needed us to be in order for us to full fill his plan for us.
It’s those hardships and experiences of our upbringings that allow us to become the people God intended for us to be. The Amish know this, they endure hardship over convenience, they value life more than big screen tv’s.
As we’re driving down the lane toward home, there are a lot of things we can learn from the Amish.
I can think of three: Family, Faith, and Forgiveness.
There is nothing I look forward to more than leaving our urban life and coming home. But it’s not just the place that makes me feel like I’m coming home, it’s the people. It’s my family. Today we live in a world that separates us from our loved ones geographically and economically. We see our children grown and heading off to colleges and seeking jobs in places where we can’t follow them. That’s how I feel about leaving my hometown. There are no jobs available in small town country settings to support a growing family. Not unless your Amish.
Instead allowing circumstances and economics to separate them from their love ones, Amish families hold on to each other and assist each other in surviving this new era of living. We could all take a lesson from them here. Society splits our families demographically. We live in different states, different counties, even different countries. When an Amish family moves, the whole family moves.
What would happen if we did that? What if we stuck together as a family? Everyone played their part to make sure the family was taken care of as a whole? Not heard of today, for sure. But think about it. How else can a family sustain and hold true to their values without the support of each other?
There is a saying “Many hands make less work.” An Amish family works together and they reap the harvest of that work. They don’t set off alone trying to prove themselves to the world. They hold each other up during the floods and the avalanches in order to survive.
That’s why they hold a lot of faith and hold each other accountable to that faith.
It’s easy to lose sight of our faith when things don’t go our way and life gets rough. So, What can the Amish teach us about faith?
It’s like a circle. More like a bond that can’t ever be broken. I have faith in you reading this blog today that you’ll hold on to what is true and meaningful to you from this post and take it to share with others. That’s faith. That’s bold. That’s worth hanging onto.
Amish communities don’t give up, they hold on tight for the ride. Hang in there, if they can do it, so can you and I.
After all, the Amish are one of the most forgiving type of people I have met in my life. They don’t hold grudges, and they learn from their mistakes. Even for the most horrific things, the Amish have forgiven. It brings peace to let go of what burdens us and traps us. We can’t predict what someone will do or what the day will bring. We can’t put ourselves into a situation without knowing and walking in the path of the person who broke our trust or threatened our feelings. We can however, forgive, and move on tomorrow.
An Amish person walks a long lane to make it home. They’re barefoot in the summer. Their hands are calloused and strong. They never stop caring for one another, never stop lending a hand, never stop believing, and find blessings in the darkness and forgiveness in the corners.
And that my friends are the three things we can all learn from the Amish.
Family, Faith, and Forgiveness.
In what area do you see yourself relating with the Amish most?