Summer vacation in Amish paradise

An aside from the usual vocation theme:

I spent the last few days in Amish country.  I have to say that it was a very refreshing experience!  It was extremely interesting to step into a different culture and observe its norms.  Not only does this broaden one’s horizons, it also helps one to gain new perspective on their own culture.  Observing the Amish is even more interesting because they are a sub-culture in our larger American culture.  To a lesser extent, Catholicism is a sub-culture in the larger American culture as well.  Anyhow, my time spent with the Amish was extremely interesting.

One of the most compelling features of Amish culture was their keeping of Sunday as a day of rest.  There was literally nothing open on Sunday anywhere.  All the restaurants and shops were closed.  There was nothing to do outside of the home.   I began to notice that most of the Amish people spent their Sunday at home, at church services, or recreating.  They didn’t seem to be missing anything by having their businesses closed on Sunday.

I wonder if we are missing a part of the picture by driving our own pursuits on a Sunday.  The weekend is our recreational time.  The weekend is our housekeeping project time.  This is understandable.  It is the only time we have to do these things.  Our weekdays have become so busy with work tasks and extra-ciricular activities.  However, I believe that it is a sign of a society out of balance that cannot find rest on a given day of the week.  Religious considerations aside, we have to wonder what it is about our cultural rhythm that makes it a “necessity” to find either a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon, or a department store to buy the latest fashion.

It being a presidential election year, we are beginning to hear a lot about the economy.  I wonder how much more satisfied people would be about their economic well-being if they could take a rest from it every once and a while?  After all, work was meant for man, and not man for work.


About erievocations

I am a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, PA. I am an Assistant Vocations Director, tasked with the promotion of seminary recruitment. My blog deals with discernment of vocations, especially to the priesthood, as well as our universal call to be holy.
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