You may have witnessed yourself how the Amish place a great deal of emphasis on being different from the world around them. They dress different, act different, talk different and take pride in keeping to themselves separate from the world. They keep society at arm’s length and seek to separate themselves from anything they feel would threaten their faith. While they know they have to live in the world they strive to not live of it. Meaning they don’t let the influence of the world control or dictate how they should live. Anything that would threaten the purity of their church or community is rejected as too worldly.
As a non-Amish Christian you may think there is no way you could live and model yourself after the Amish. I am here to show you that even in our very modern world we too can separate ourselves from the world just enough to keep us grounded to a simpler way of life.
Living a simple life can be challenging at times and it may go against everything you have been taught to value in life. Living separately from society in order to remain true to your desires does not come without a few sacrifices, but it does get easier as you go.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you start working toward living a simpler life separate from the world:
- What do you want your life to look like? – If you’re dreaming of a world void of noise and distraction the first place to start is to turn the noise off. Start right now…find the remote and turn the TV off. You will be surprised at how much calmer your house is when the constant stimulation of the TV is gone. Open the windows and listen to the world around you.
- What changes do you desire? – Is your life full of crazy schedules? Learning to say no and prioritizing the things that matter most is a huge step in separating yourself from the world. You don’t need to serve on every committee and your children don’t need to play every sport. What we all need is to view our family like the Amish do. They work, play and worship together every day and they don’t need extra activities to fill their days.
- What do you spend the most time doing in a day? – Do you dream of a clean house, manicured the lawn, happy kids and a peaceful life? The modern world has spoiled us! We know we can throw a load of clothes in the dryer, dishes in the dishwasher, take our clothes to the cleaners to be pressed and hire someone to mow our lawn, but we can’t hire someone to find us the peace we all desire. The Amish work hard and put in a full day’s work. Do you often wonder how they do it? They do it by not having their nose glued to a TV, computer or phone. They take pride in taking care of their families and don’t spend idle time on things that don’t add value to their family or community.
- Can you accept being different? – Can you live like the Amish? Most of us cannot! But we can start to turn our backs on some of the things that were designed to make our lives fuller and it’s those things that are pulling us away from our families we hold dear.
If you’re struggling to find balance between peaceful living and modern life take the time to evaluate your surroundings. Close your eyes and imagine what you want your life to look like. If its peace you’re after then rid yourself of the distractions that are keeping you from obtaining it. If your family unit is struggling stand back and start eliminating the extra activities that are keeping you from being a family unit. Taking pride in being able to take care of your families needs, with your own two hands, in a big step in learning to separate yourself from the outside world.
Limit your daily electronic time to five or ten minutes, hand wash your dishes, iron your own clothes, take pride in how your house looks, talk to your kids instead of putting on a movie for them, learn to cook, plant a garden, hang your clothes out to dry or even walk and visit with a neighbor face-to-face. You will be surprised at how just a few of these little things will help you connect with a simpler way of life.
Please remember that every day is a clean slate, one that you can mold and shape into anything your heart desire one day at a time.
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