Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Amish Peace

I'm still reading Living Relationally by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose about the women of Genesis. While reading about Eve's temptation by the serpent, I couldn't help but make the correlation between her and us today. Satan, in the form of a serpent, told Eve that by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she would become like God. Now Eve knew God; she had spent time with Him, walking in the Garden of Eden. She had to know that nothing would or could make her like God, but she bought the lie, because she wanted to be something more than she was. She decided that how God had made her was not good enough; she wanted more. Even though when God created her, He pronounced her good. Eve decided that good wasn't enough.

Does that remind you of anything? Think of all of those slick infomercials promising to make us thin, rich, beautiful, or even better cooks (mothers). Every one of them promises a quick fix for an outrageous price. And we buy into it because we have decided that how God made us isn't good enough. We want more, and rather than doing the actual work it takes to create change, we want the quick fix. Real change only comes with effort and commitment. In the story of Adam and Eve, Satan comes across as a oily salesman with a promise for goods that he can't deliver, like the Cham-Wow guy with scales.

And in the end, aren't we really looking for the peace. We want to feel good about ourselves. We want to feel safe and loved. John 14:27 says: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. What God's promising can't be bought in a store or as advertised on TV, and that's what I want.

Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a fascinating look at the source of the title. Fisher, who comes from an Anabaptist tradition called Dunkards, delves deeply into the day-to-day life of the Amish. With their focus on God and family, they have a better understanding of what it means to live the way God intends and the peace that pervades every aspect of their life emphasizes this. Each short chapter gives insight into one aspect of their lives: respect for elders, working as a community, or church services. The Amish have a different way of looking at life: one woman gave up her painting for a time when she feared that it was overwhelming her love for God. Families with Alzheimer's patients or disabled children don't institutionalize their loved ones, but devote their lives to caring for them. Whether you have an slight interest in the Amish or a fascination to know more about their way of life, this book will definitely satisfy.

Don't forget to send me an email to sign up to win one of two copies of John Bevere's Extraordinary. The contest ends at 10 pm on Thursday, October 8th.