This was such an interesting memoir of a man raised in the Amish ways, who struggles to find rest. Ira Wagler tells an engaging story of his childhood and youth, being raised within the strict rules of the Amish community.
I learnt alot about the beliefs of the Amish, their strict rules and how they live. I realized the Amish, when it comes to human nature, aren't really that different then any of us. They love their families, work very hard to provide, and strive to teach their children moral values. But they also gossip, struggle with jealousy and judge each other, just like us. The difference is they believe belonging to the Amish church saves them and that they are lost without it. That is why so many leave and come back, leave and come back. They are afraid of losing their salvation. He says here:
"We were special--the chosen ones who preserved and honored "the only way."
"With some prodding, there might be a reluctant admission that yes, others not of our particular faith might make it to heaven, but only because they were not born Amish and didn't know any better. Those who were born in the faith had better stay, or they would surely face a terrible Judgment Day. That's what we heard. What we were told by our parents and what we heard in the sermons at church."
He goes on to say:
"But they never explained why. Why we were special. Why we alone knew the only true path. Only that we were and we did."
The author goes on to share the struggles and torment he went through, in leaving and coming back several times. Until he finally decided to talk to God.
He say here:
"Although I'd been taught all my life to pray, I never did much, because I never saw that it did any good. Not for those around me, at least. Every day the Amish launched some of the most beautifully written prayers out there. It was a formal thing, praying. Approach God, read some poetic lines from a little black book, and then get up and go about your day, secure in the knowledge that you had done your duty, that you would be protected. In church, of course, every single syllable in every prayer was scripted, read from a book or memorized, word for word. That's all I knew about praying. All I had ever seen.
Normally, I wouldn't have considered praying, not for a second. It would never have crossed my mind. Even if it had, I would have shrugged it off. But this was not a normal time.
I decided that I could simply talk to God. ask for his help. Not by reading from a little black book, but by talking to him, man to man. Or man to God. Whatever."
In God's time He answered that simple prayer with the most unlikely of people. Ira eventually found the true Source of salvation, not in an organized church, not in good works, not in obeying laws, but in a gift of God, in his Savior Jesus Christ alone.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8
I love how God comes to us right where we are and when we cry out to Him he hears our every prayer. He wants us to come to him and rest in him, because he loves and cares for us.
|"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."|