Rumspringa… have you ever heard that word? I hadn’t until recently when I was watching a documentary about the Amish way of life. Rumspringa, refers to a coming of age period when Amish youths who have reached the age of 16 are given the freedom to experience a different way of life, free from much of the restrictions that they are familiar with so that they can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to join the Amish church. During this time they are also allowed to date with the goal of finding an Amish mate.
During rumspringa, like most teenagers given freedom, some Amish youths make bad decisions and involve themselves in a negative lifestyle. However, according to statistics, 90% of Amish youths eventually join the Amish church. In hearing that I thought, “wow! 90%, that’s impressive!” But, I also thought about the 10% that chooses not to continue the Amish way of life. What happened to them, did they choose what they believe is a better way, or did they get caught up in the lifestyle that they were trying out?
Unlike the Amish, we don’t have rumspringa. However, we can refer to high school graduation as a coming of age. It is around this time that parents begin to allow their children more freedom and responsibility. How are you going to handle it? Do you need to touch, taste, feel what the world has to offer before you decide that the values instilled in you by your parents are what really matters?
Ecclesiastes 12:1 states:
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” (NLT).
The world has so much to attract your attention and lead you down a path that takes you away from God. However, the days of youth are the perfect time to choose Christ. As you navigate the twists and turns and ups and downs that life often bring what do you choose, a life that embraces Christ or one that doesn’t? What percentage would you be during your coming of age period, the
90% or the 10%?
Photo: Microsoft Clipart