“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.”
If you are true to your faith, there are things you give up for your faith-Amish Proverb
When I was in elementary school my class took a trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. That one trip, started a life long fascination with the Amish. I could go on for days but I think the thing I admire most is their simplicity. I think that their lifestyles resemble the way God intended our life on earth to be like. I think modern life is out of control; we are educated but ignorant, we have money but we are poor (materialism, debt), we are religious but unchristian, we have children and not families. Obviously, I am an Orthodox Catholic. That does not mean that I am opposed to other faiths. I don’t limit my friendships and mentors to women who are Catholic and I am grateful they didn’t do that either. On the contrary, I am shaped by other Christian faiths and admire many of their beautiful traditions. That does not mean I am not in love with mine. I am also grounded and properly catechised enough that I am able to discern what to take and what to leave. It is a short list and begins and ends with judmentalism which is the root of many sins. My friend Julie who is part of the fundamentalist “full quiver” movement has given me some amazing advice. I choose to focus on what we have in common and not what’s different and I am blessed by it. Their view of life issues and an emphasis on the traditional family is a common thread. I also think that talking to people from other faiths can challenge you to define your own convictions. It helps you to discern what you believe and why you believe it. Which leads me to one of the things I most admire about the Amish. Although many have been drawn to the simple lives of the “plain people” they do not encourage converting. I find their lack of egocentricity refreshing. Their thought provoking response is this:
That is good, solid advice. One only has to turn on the television (if you must) to see the negative impact radicalism in any form has done to our world. It is just my opinion but I believe it is not your denomination but how you live that make you a Christian. We are supposed to imitate Christ who lived a simple, loving life while here on earth. Living sacrificially and raising Godly children is the ultimate testimony. Your family’s faith and it’s traditions are the best gift you can give your child. It is a gift that our family gave to us and the same one we are planning to give to our kids.