Life is tough…there must be a simpler way!

“I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.”     –Albert Einstein

The rolling hills of Indiana County, in western Pennsylvania afford visitors scenic beauty and serenity rivaling anyplace in America.  From atop any of the high hills one can see large barns and farmhouses dotting the countryside.  Drive down a road and eventually you’ll come upon a horse-drawn buggy moving slowly, but steadily along.  This is Amish country, a different universe than the one I live in and probably different from yours.  Yet it lies only a few miles from my home.

Having rejected the modern world, these plain people, the descendents of German Anabaptists, struggle to maintain an 18th century existence in fast-paced, 21st century America. They till the soil.  They build their own houses and barns and heat them with stoves fired by wood and coal.  They have neither television, radio, cell phones, computers, cars nor tractors.  Stout work horses pull their plows through the fertile fields. They educate their children in one-room schoolhouses. They know their neighbors and help them when needed. They revere God!

When I consider their world, I can’t help but envy them. No, I’m not ready to give up my car, my television or most of the other conveniences of life, but I envy many aspects of the simple Amish lifestyle.  I long for simplicity in my own life.  Deep inside I yearn for a simpler existence, something that seems quite elusive.

Several years ago, just a few days before Christmas, my wife and I visited the tiny town of Smicksburg, which is situated in the heart of Indiana County’s Amish country. In a gift shop I found a small Christmas ornament.  It is a hand-painted, miniature wooden plaque bearing one word, “Simplify.” At that moment, awash in Amish culture, I experienced a sort of revelation.

I returned home determined to reduce the chaos in my daily routine. I’ve since enjoyed some success and some glaring failures.  The ornament now hangs in a prominent place in my home, providing a daily reminder to keep me focused on the road ahead.   Having thus set the stage, let the journey begin. I invite you to join me in exploring ways to cut through the chaos cluttering our lives, so we may more easily discern how to make daily living “simply divine,”  as God intended.

You’ll find that much, if not most of what I have to say is shaped by my Christian beliefs.  If you’re not a fellow believer, please don’t be put off by my religiosity.  If you visit now and then, I believe you’ll find something here to interest you and brighten your life.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Dave Bowles on September 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    very nice


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