Thursday, July 13, 2006

The road less traveled, and the six-lane highway: Do I have to choose?

I'll admit, right here in digital print, that there are certain tendencies in me that would relish uprooting my family and moving to an Amish community. Wouldn't life be better simpler? Wouldn't I be more holy and happy living among disciplined, community-oriented people who live a life closer to the created world and further from the mechanization of man? More to the point, wouldn't it be nice never to answer a cell phone or update my online banking balances ever again?

Last Sunday at Cascade Hills, we celebrated the beauty and majesty of God's creation with a series of worship stations. Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day, and one of the "worship stations" took people outside to look east toward the foothills of the Cascades. With such a vision before us, it is tempting to malign the works of man: to look at our city of Salem and turn our noses up at the concrete and steel, the crowded highways, the denuded hills upon which ever-larger homes will spring, the discarded trash trail of a hundred thousand self-absorbed consumers.

But, lest ye go from this page to this one to purchase a horse with which you can ride to the open fields of Amish Ohio, consider the book Anthony Sacramone is considering writing: The Great Indoors: Why Going Outside Is Vastly Overrrated. (and read the rest of his satire here. It's a good cureall for those Amish itches.)

1 comment:

Dwayne Hilty said...

Your struggle is appreciated. I, too, have suffered from those very longings, especially after returning from trips to visit my Amish family in Ohio. I was reading something this morning that cast religious people in Jesus' day and age into 3 categories: Fight, Flight, or Blame.

Zealots, for instance, represented "fighters" who chose to rebel and terroize in response to Roman occupation. Essenes, or Amish?, fell into "flighters" who chose to evacuate and escape the world. "Blamers" were also known as Pharisees who chose a path of condemnation, avoidance, and shame. The descriptions are too vast to cram into 3 nice categories, but in relationship to the Amish, your struggle and questions seem aptly appropriate.