This post was orginally written about a month ago, during great lent. I met a fellow orthodox trucker, and struck up a conversation.
So today while waiting to get my truck unloaded at the port, I realized the truck next to me had a large orthodox cross hanging in their window. I made a comment on it to him and he confirmed that yes he was also orthodox, and that he was from Ethiopia.
We commiserated for a minute or two and I asked him how his Lenten struggles are going and if he was excited for Pascha.He told me that he is so excited and so thankful not only for the resurrection and the celebration, but he was actually more thankful and more excited about lent and the struggles that it brings.
He told me that for him having to give up certain things during the fast and having to struggle more actually makes it easier for him to focus on being an Orthodox Christian, because he doesn’t look at what he has to abstain from as being a bad thing.
He said (in his thick african accent) all those things that we give up during Lent, all the meat and dairy, and cheese and all the other worldly activities that we give up during this time, they’re just distractions and being able to let go of them during this time is peaceful and a welcome relief for him. He said instead of a struggle he looks at it more like a blessing or a gift, maybe even a struggle of joy.
Then when we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, it’s just that much sweeter for him. Talk about an attitude shift. I’m always amazed when I meet other truckers that are Orthodox on the road. It happens more often then I thought it would.