The need for community

It’s Wednesday afternoon, and the temperature gauge on my dash reads 92 degrees. I pull into the loading facility, and check in at the office. The office personnel here at Hinrichs Trading Company are excited to see me as I walk through the door.  It sorta feels like an episode from Cheers, because here everybody knows my name. I grab a pen and sign my name into the log book. The ladies behind the counter ask about my day as they gather the proper information for today’s load. We exchange some friendly gossip for a minute or two,  then I head back out to the truck and drive onto the scale.

After they get an accurate scale reading, I drive off of the scale and pull around to the front of the building. As I back up to the loading ramp, more workers in yellow safety vests come out and quickly open up my container doors and guide me back to the loading ramp. These guys are awesome. They are hardworking and always maintain a positive, professional attitude. In less than an hour they’ve got all the product loaded into my container.  It’s so nice having a crew that knows how to get things done.

After driving back onto the scale and pulling around to the front side of the office, I head inside to grab my paperwork. I say my goodbyes while signing out in the log book. I am so thankful for these wonderful people who do their jobs so well and keep me moving almost every day. All of us drivers, the loaders, and office staff come together every day as a community working along side each other to get a specific job done. In our own small ways, we are actually working together in order to help drive global commerce. Small cogs, in a much bigger machine. Because of this community, my job is made easier. It’s not just the awesome people at Hinrich’s who help move us forward, but also my fellow drivers here at G&G Land and Livestock who’ve always got my back and aren’t afraid to get their sleeves dirty. It’s a true support team, and it’s awesome.

You know what else is easier when you have a support team? Keeping your life on the straight and narrow. When you have a community standing beside you, the bad situations that arise are generally easier to resolve. And that is simply because you’re not alone! We all know how easy it is to move an extremely heavy object when we have extra helpers. The same thing goes for the problems in your life. Friends and family, your Parish priest, and your church communities are all available to lend a hand in order to lift you up.

My wife and I have been struggling in our need for community.  Our Orthodox life at home is growing really strong, but outside the home it’s a different story. It’s not always possible to attend liturgy on Sunday, especially when there’s no gas money. Our local Mission Church is an hour away, and sometimes it’s difficult to justify the spending of funds we might not have. Of course, these are just excuses that help justify our lack of attendance at liturgy. These excuses also have the unfortunate side effect of normalizing lazy behaviors and can seriously jeopardize our spiritual growth. The solution of course is a simple matter of reorganizing priorities and making an emphasis on what is truly important. No gas money for church? Set aside a weekly budget and think about cutting out some of the extra frivolous spending. No time for prayer? Set an earlier alarm for when you wake up, now you have a few extra minutes to pray. These ideas sound easy when written down, but for someone with a severe lack of follow through combined with some major resistance to change, these ideas can become stumbling blocks. This is especially true if we try to do it all at once!

Thank goodness for Ancient Faith Podcasts, Churches that live stream liturgy, Orthodox social media groups and great spiritual content across several media platforms that help remind us how important a growing spiritual life is. My wife and I are prayerfully making plans and hopefully soon we’ll be participating in Orthodoxy on a fuller extent (and not just within our own little bubble) to deepen our faith and build a better support network. So far we’ve agreed to make changes to the budget that will ensure we always have gas money for Church. We’ve also agreed to limit our exposure to media and activities that don’t always have a positive impact on our spiritual and physical well being. We’ve also started reaching out to other Orthodox members of our community for assistance and advice. No one is an island. No one is alone. No one can do everything by themself.

We all need people to help support us and if necessary, guide us in a direction that will help us flourish. Are you in a simmilar situation and need someone to lean on? Drop me a line!

Thanks for reading and until next time my friends,

-Orthodox Trucker
My truck is loaded and ready to go for tomorrow for tomorrow

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