Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 ESV
I’m currently reading A Bond Never Broken by Judith Miller. It takes place in the Amana Colonies in Iowa. My father was born and raised in South Amana, one of the colonies, and my grandparents continued to live there through my childhood. Growing up I knew some things about life in the colonies, but A Bond Never Broken has opened my eyes to the way life really was.
The people of the Amanas were devout Christians who lived on a strict schedule. There were designated meal times, work times, all-village prayer sessions throughout the week, and Sunday service. They lived simply, all wearing the same clothing, eating together in a meal house, and having similar possessions. They also did not have currency – anything they needed was provided by the colonies.
When I began reading the book I thought, “Wow, I could never live with such a strict schedule and rules,” but then I thought about why their society was like this. I think perhaps it was to keep them from being distracted from life so they could focus on their Lord. What an admirable desire.
When God says to “be still,” that can be interpreted as not fretting about a situation or stopping what you’re doing to spend time with him. The Amana people seem to have devoted their lives to being still. How are you doing? If you were to map out how you spend your time each week, how many hours would you allocate to work? To family? To chores? To working out? To sleeping? To Facebook? To watching TV? To God? Perhaps we should all learn from the Amana people and shift our priorities around to give more time to the one who matters most.