I promised that I would share some of my stories from this past weekend when we went visiting to Lancaster County, PA. I’m not certain where to start, so much seemed to happened in such a short period of time.
Let me begin with the journey. It always seems to take a long time to get to Lancaster County from where I live. But the drive becomes increasingly peaceful and I find the stress of my regular life slipping away.
When we finally turn off the highway and start on the back roads, I find myself staring at the different farms and wondering about the lives of the people who live there. The closer we get to Intercourse, PA, the more apt I am to spot “Amish” farms. Whether it is from the buggies in the driveway or the colorful clothes hanging on the line, I can sense that I am arriving at my destination.
But what is the destination? Clearly I don’t consider this my home. Could it have been at one time? Mayhaps. Back in the days when Emanuel Lapp (from my book, Fields of Corn) courted me, there was a possibility of him not taking his baptism or, perhaps, of me joining his community. But it didn’t happen and, in hindsight, I’m glad. Would he have been happy leaving the Amish way of life? Would I have been happy joining it? Today, I have the ability to visit and taste the Amish lifestyle, a rare treat for Englischers.
Yet, when I leave the community and come home, there is an emptiness inside my chest. I view my current world through a different lens, one that is not as appreciative of what I have. I recognize the worldliness of my life and reflect on the words from the scripture: For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:13).
Point 1 from my journey: Live more in the Spirit and less in the flesh.
I’ll let you know how I do!