Amish Principles for Today's Families
6/1/12 at 06:51 PM 0 Comments

Plain Talk about the Amish: Become Amish?

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"That is hitting the nail on the head." Amish proverb

(c) Bill Coleman/amishphoto.com

An Amish newspaper ran a story about the hundreds of letters they received asking how to become Amish. The article explained that most people wanted a change of pace or were feeling stressed by their hectic lifestyle. The solution, they thought, was to become Amish.

The newspaper conjectured that most likely, they wouldn’t last a day in the Amish lifestyle. One cold winter ride in a buggy would send them scurrying to get home, happy to flip on the car heater and switch on the radio.

“Uncle Amos,” an Amish man who wrote occasionally for the Small Farmer’s Journal, wrote this thought-provoking response:

Become Amish?

(c) Bill Coleman/amishphoto.com

If you admire our faith, strengthen yours. If you admire our sense of commitment, deepen yours. If you admire our community spirit, build your own. If you admire the simple life, cut back. If you admire deep character and enduring values, live them yourself.

(c) Bill Coleman/amishphoto.com

We don’t need to “go Amish” to bring true peace into our lives. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to become Amish. There is a basic foundation of being Amish, called Gelassenheit, that is simply contrary to the American way of thinking. Gelassenheit is translated to mean “yielding to a higher authority.” The Amish believe in living a life of humility and submission to God, as well as the church district’s leaders and Ordnung (rules for living). It’s more than just living without conveniences; the welfare of the community is at the forefront of decision making. It means that drawing attention to oneself is inappropriate—very different from our tendency to be considered special. It means keeping life simple so they can emphasize what is truly important.

But peace? The lasting peace we long for isn’t exclusive to the Amish. Their example is our example. Their principles can be our principles. Their peace, based in the security of God, can belong to us too.

Reprinted from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, with permission from Revell Books.

About Suzanne: She is an author of bestselling fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Why the Amish? Well, Suzanne’s grandfather was raised Plain. She’s always been fascinated by her gentle, wise relatives. Learn more about Suzanne, her books, and Amish Wisdom, her weekly radio show, by stopping by www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. And, please, sign up to receive this bi-monthly column to your e-mail!

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