Saturday, January 23, 2010

In the world...

...but not of the world.

I've been thinking a lot about that phrase lately.

As I picked up Jesse from his babysitter on Thursday, I was reminded again of being in the world but not of the world. Because Jesse's babysitter is Amish. And this Thursday, his babysitter and her family were running errands in town and we met at his babysitter's mother-in-law's house to get Jesse. As Meredith and Jesse and I were driving out of the driveway, his sitter's family all rushed out to get in the buggy and head back to their home.

And as I drove away in my the temperature controlled environment with warm and toasty seats...and a movie player in the back for the kids...on my way to meet Kent at a restaurant for supper, it made me ponder our two, very different lifestyles. They were presumably on their way home. Which would normally take me only a few minutes. But how long does it take them? And when they get home, how long does it take to make supper? Because there's no popping something in the microwave to heat up. Is their house cozy and warm, or do they have to fire up the wood stove to heat the house? And I won't even get started on lighting lamps instead of flipping a switch to light up a room.

On the other hand, what would my family life or my spiritual life look like if I didn't have a tv to watch. Or ballgames to go to. Or the Wii to play. Or blogs and facebook to read?

I know that at times it seems a bit ridiculous that Amish can have phone booths at the end of their country lanes, but can't have a phone in their house. But is that so bad? You get to decide when and how often to use the modern convenience of a phone. If you want to know how someone is doing, you go and visit them. Or you hand write a letter. Instead of texting. Or emailing. Or calling. You control the convenience instead of the other way around.

So is that what it looks like to not be of the world? Because I'm not Amish, nor will I ever become Amish. But what does it look like for me to be present in this world, but not ruled by what the world tells me is important, or right, or true?

What does it look like for you?


amanda said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. . . in a lot of ways, but especially about giving thought to the kinds of technology/activities that i bring into my life, and how they will change me and my relationships (to people and to God), instead of just accepting the "latest thing" without critical thought. I'm pretty sure that I want to live more "deliberately." Even when it's difficult to be "deliberate" on a daily basis. anyway. enough from me. good post. (oh and the pictures of Jess from Thursday are adorable)

Kim said...

Wow, you really got me to thinking this morning. I do think maybe a life with less distractions leads to more time to be spiritual. But WE can decide how often to answer the phone and/or talk and text on it. WE choose how much time to spend on the computer with facebook, blogging, etc. WE choose how often to sit around the table as a family, etc. etc. We just need to make the best choices for us even when its hard. Anyway, that's my view!

Mary and Wilbur Litwiller said...

this is so refreshing, love the comments and your thoughts, Theresa.

Anonymous said...

Good post, makes me think.