Dealing with Change

How many Orthodox Christians does it take to change a lightbulb? … Chaaaange???

That was the very first Orthodox joke I ever heard, And while it illuminates the fact that the Orthodox Church has seen less change then other denominations in the world, remember that change is a major part of the natural order. We see change happen before our own eyes every year in nature. Just take a look at the trees in autumn when their leaves turn color and fall to the ground. Change is a part of life, and it is up to us on how we deal with it.

Next week will see the start of a major change for me when it comes to my job. There are several different shipping ports in Seattle, but there are only two that I have to deal with. The first one, terminal 46, is closer to the Seattle skyline and is the main terminal that I have been going to. Every now and then I have to go to terminal 18, which is much larger than 46 and gets quite a bit more truck traffic. (T-46 is about 90 acres, whereas T-18 is over 180 acres) Terminal 18 is about two miles further down the road and is in the heart of the Seattle industrial zone. It’s not uncommon for this facility to be much busier than 46.

So what’s happening next week? Well, 46 is shutting its doors. All of the truck and ship traffic will be diverted to terminal 18. So all the extra traffic from 46 is going to be piled on top of an already busy terminal 18. Seattle does have a plan on how to deal with this issue. They have recently begun a two-year renovation project on Terminal 5 which will eventually become my new terminal. It is currently undergoing refurbishment and upgrades, so that it can handle the really large cargo ships as well as the extra traffic flow. But until it’s finished and ready to go, we all got to go through 18.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a major change and one I’m not looking forward to. Once Terminal 5 is completed and they have this entire mess sorted out, it will be fine. In the meantime however, there will be problems, especially as everyone gets used to the new way of doing things.

With change, you either learn to adapt, or you get left behind. If I want to keep my job, then I have to adapt. One way that I plan on adapting to this change is by leaving earlier than I do now, and hopefully I’ll get to the port before the major rush hits. I feel that the key to dealing with change, is to approach it with a positive mental attitude. Not all change is going to be sunshine and rainbows, some changes come in the shape of dark storm clouds, but with a plan in place and a positive attitude, anything is possible.

Change can come in a variety of forms. Our lives change when we get married. They change when we have kids. When we experience death or the dissolution of a relationship, change is once again at our doorstep. For some people change is akin to removing a weight off of one’s shoulders. Perhaps you’ve come to a point in your life where you really only have two options, continue down the path that you’re on, whether it be good or bad, or get off the road and take the path less traveled. Other people may see change in a more painful light. Perhaps they’ve been living in an uncomfortable situation with some unhealthy relationships. And instead of growing into a healthy garden of joy, life becomes a briar patch full of thorns and brambles. For this person, change could literally be pulling the thorns out of their side and refusing to allow themselves to enter such a negative situation again. (Been there, done that)

Some of the biggest changes that I have had to deal with in my life were getting married, having children, and multiple job and career changes. (besides truck driving, I’ve worked as a customer service and tech support agent, was a licensed insurance agent for a brief moment, and owned my own photography business)

The biggest change in my life however, happened when my wife and I were baptized into the church. Our whole life changed. We had to learn new ways to deal with situations and other issues that life throws at us. We had to develop a new method of dealing with issues and problems from the perspective of a married Orthodox Christian couple. Both of us had to grapple with how these changes would impact us individually. When you come out of the baptismal waters, your entire life changes. You are no longer the same person that you were before. And because of that, you have to learn how to deal with things in a different manner. The path that Christ has laid before us is not an easy one, and imitating Christ is sometimes easier said than done. Christ knew this though. He told us to take up our own cross and follow him, and every time we stumble, there he is with his hand outstretched just waiting to help us get back up on our feet.

How has change impacted you? Are you someone who embraces change? Or do you need to be dragged by the ankles, kicking and screaming, before you even think about change?

I’m curious about what you think.

Thanks again for following me on my Orthodox Trucker adventures. Until next time my friends, stay safe out there.

-OT

Hiking trial I discovered in Douglas, Massachusetts two years ago while waiting for my delivery appointment.

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