I often hear myself and others saying “I wish life would just slow down. Everything’s just so complicated and chaotic.”
It’s one thing for us to decelerate life while on vacation. But freeing our lives of tumult and clamor in the everyday – that is entirely another story, and it can be exceedingly difficult to accomplish.
But if there’s anything thing the Amish people do abundantly well, it’s this. They’re masters of the rhythm of a simple and orderly life.
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” – E.F. Schumacher
Can you remember the last time you spent the day in a place still and quiet enough to hear the grandfather clock chime every hour, and the clip-clop of horses hooves on the road as a buggy passed by? Have you ever sat down at the kitchen table with your family to savor a home cooked meal for breakfast, lunch AND dinner every single day of the week? Or enjoyed the beauty of talking with your spouse, family or friends for the evening, without television, internet or telephone stealing away your focus from the people you love and care for? My Amish family can answer any of those questions with a hearty “yes”.
So how do they do it?
Simplicity begets order. Take away the “need” and the desire to keep step with modern society, and things begin to look very different.
Simplifying life requires deep conviction, firm resolve, unyielding discipline, strength of character, and a decision to live intentionally. When these things are in place, we won’t be tossed to and fro with every gust of societal wind that blows our way.
Through their intentional lifestyle, the Amish people have removed the beast of consumerism from their homes and lives. And as a result, things are simplified and there is capacity for order.
Today, I want to learn from my Amish family by thinking about one step I can take in the direction of intentional living, and then act upon it.
~ Justina Dee
Special thanks to Julie Lea Waldron and Kathryn Dienner for the beautiful photos from Lancaster County, PA!