Amish Principles for Today's Families
1/16/13 at 12:45 PM 0 Comments

Plain Talk about the Amish: Expecting to Wait

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 "Today has one thing in which all of us are equal: time. All of us drew the same salary in seconds, minutes, and hours."

Amish proverb

Linda sat with her son in the emergency room of their local hospital, waiting to be seen by a doctor. Her son had twisted his ankle playing a game of basketball and she worried he might have caused serious damage to it.

After ten minutes, her son grew fidgety and impatient. “This is going to take forever,” he moaned.

(C) Bill Coleman/

Seated across from them was a young Amish couple. The wife had taken a spill and hurt her shoulder. They sat calmly, though Linda noticed the wife wince in pain whenever she shifted in her seat. Finally, the nurse came out and motioned to the Amish man. He jumped up to help his wife rise to her feet. Linda heard him say to her, “Now, Katie, that wasn’t too bad a wait. Only an hour.”

After the Amish couple left the waiting room, Linda nudged her son with her elbow. “Do you see the difference? You expected to be seen immediately. They expected to wait.”

To the Amish, waiting isn’t a verb. It’s an attitude. They wait for spring to plow and plant, for autumn to reap and harvest. They know that the seasons can’t be rushed. They wait for the rain to come and nourish their crops. Much of their three-plus-hour church service is a time of silent waiting: they wait in expectation before God, rich with the promise of what is to come.

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7 KJV) is a biblical principle the Amish take to heart. Waiting on the Lord is the same thing as trusting him. All that they have belongs to him, including the minutes and hours and days and years that make up their lives.

Time is viewed differently for the Amish than for the English. It’s just not as important.

Excerpted from Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life with permission by Revell Books.

About Suzanne Woods Fisher: She is an author of bestselling fiction and non-fiction books for Revell about the Old Order Amish. Learn more about Suzanne, her books, and her weekly radio show by stopping by Download the free app, Amish Wisdom, to receive a daily Amish proverb. A moment of peace and calm in a busy day.

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