Sunday, July 28, 2013

Post-Industrial Pioneer Life

I wish I could sew. I wish I could tan leather. I wish I could weave fabric from raw wool, or linen from sun-whitened flax. I wish I had a homestead from which I could provide abundantly for my family.

Basically, I want to be from another time, where everything was done by hand out of need. Skills were passed on from generation to generation and people were self-sufficient, getting what they could not make for themselves by bartering with their neighbors. We lived off the land and could discern between the gifts God gives us to live on and the luxuries we don’t truly need. We knew our communities and relied on each other. We didn’t know how to be wasteful because we needed to use all we had to its fullest potential.

I’ve always been annoyed by the “Green” movement, as if being environmentally-minded were some new trend where you recycle, buy canvas bags for your groceries, and plant trees on Arbor Day. None of that is bad, of course, but the people I see being all hyped up about it are the same people I see at Starbucks and Ikea. I just don’t know how we can be “Green” and still live like a typical American in the post-industrial age.

Wow, I sound like an ogre, or at the very least, a self-righteous hipster. I hope that all my opinions and the way I live my life doesn’t express arrogance or judgment, but rather, what I want to think about, live out, and display for onlookers is that I don’t buy into what the world approves; that my choices are influenced most heavily by my conscience, and my commitment to follow Jesus before anything.

So… what does that look like? It’s tough to put it in words, but I think mainly it means I use what I have with thanksgiving, I make no financial decisions that are beyond my means, I joyfully give to others from what I have, and I make the best of the digital age by learning as many pioneer skills as I can to amplify the resourcefulness of my lifestyle.

Deep breath. Let’s pioneer.

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