There’s a local community.of Amish and Mennonite folks nearby. They have a very tasty bakery and also a real nice dry goods store with some great bulk spices and noodles that can’t be beat.
We didn’t stop by the cabinet or furniture shops this time but we did get some fresh produce. I’m not one for fresh tomatoes, but they sure were prettier than any you’ll see in the local grocery store and I’m told they were delicious. I can, however, give a personal testimony on the pecan pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, chocolate chip sandwich cookies, sweet apple bread and pecan sticky buns. (We’ll try the cinnamon swirl breads and mixed berry pie another time. Yes… we just about cleaned the baker out for just under $25…)
What’s most enviable is their simple Christian lifestyle. (Except maybe for the lack of air conditioning…)
This was my second visit to the small town of Lead Mine. We went 10 years ago when my Zachary was just barely four years old. At that time we were on a quest for handmade wooden toys and we talked with him about the similarities and differences in our lifestyles. At that time he asked me if “we would see all the stuff they don’t have”. I thought that was pretty insightful at the time.
On this trip we studied about their lifestyle a bit more in depth before our drive over. As we read, one particular belief stood out among the others. Amish teenagers are encouraged to sample life in the outside world, in a period referred to as rumspringa, (Pennsylvania Deutsch for "running around.") They’re still bound by the beliefs and rules of their parents, but a certain amount of disregard and experimentation is permitted or overlooked.
I asked the kids why they thought the vast majority of Amish young people decided to be baptized and stay with their Amish community.
The answer was simple – life was better without all the distractions of this world pulling them away from Christ and their relationship with Him and their families. Even as (well raised) teens they’re able to discern that.
I must admit, I’m a little jealous. Not that I don’t hang my laundry out to dry on a line or have to hand make any sweets rather than buying them in the freezer section, but that family and the the Christian walk take precedence over all else and they don’t let “life” get in the way.
This is an area that I can stand to improve in. We probably all could.
"And be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2