I am sharing this in the Spirit of Christmas hoping that many will take their time and reflect on their lives and how blessed they are. In addition, it's usually the simple/small things in life that make us today so blessed. Merry Christmas!
Our Communities are Our Treasure
I was out this afternoon doing the usual last minute Christmas shopping, you know the usual fighting traffic, waiting around for sales people etc, etc. I wasn't finding what I was looking for so I decided to head over to Hanover Pa, a 20 -30 minute drive from Gettysburg, through some of Adams counties prettiest country side. No sooner had a I gotten a short distance from Gettysburg when I came across a Mennonite woman waiting the mailbox, dressed in the usual dark tights, sneakers, print dress and prayer cap the image struck me for some reason.
You see the Adams county Pa area is a cultural mix of many faiths, Amish & Mennonite being among them. I have grown accustom to seeing both Amish and Mennonite families in our local stores and groceries, but this time the "big picture" really hit me. What made the whole thing come to light even more was while in Hanover I drove by the Hanover Mennonite School as the kids were out playing at recess. The timing was very coincidental.
As a child I spent many summers in the Lancaster and Adams county area's, both of which have strong Mennonite and Amish communities. Sometimes when I see those that choose a simpler way of life I wonder, who is smarter, who is making a richer life choice. I mean here I am with my blue tooth, my 4G phone, Mr. constantly connected and I cross paths regularly with a radically different way of approaching life. What I have come to understand is that I am so fortunate to live in a community that is tolerant of one's life choices no matter which end of the spectrum it comes from.
The community is the big winner here, we have the choice to buy our groceries from a number of big chain stores, or we can purchase from a number of local Amish and Mennonite farm stands, we can buy our meat from a chain store, or head out to Lancaster county and purchase from one of the wonderful Amish butcher shops. The two ways of life intertwine nicely here, and I am fortunate for it.
So in the midst of all the Christmas hustle and bustle I was forced to stop for a second and really appreciate the community in which I choose to live, isn't that really a big part of what the season is all about.
I challenge all my AR colleagues to take a moment in the midst of it all and appreciate that for which we truly are fortunate to have in our lives. Go ahead, do it, and then take the time to write about it and share it with your AR family, you'll be glad you did, and so will we.