This morning I woke up in Atlanta, Georgia. While I know parts of the city are under turmoil due to protests, I was safe and sound in my truck behind the tall gates at the Knight Transportation terminal. Yesterday I had the joy of meeting two online friends in the real world. Eddie and Kat are two of my earliest online Orthodox Trucker followers and they only live a few minutes away from the Atlanta terminal. They picked me up and we drove across town. We ended up at the Atlanta Braves baseball stadium and got to walk around looking at the architecture and the statutes. It was really cool.
After a quick trip to their apartment in order to gain respite from the afternoon heat, we went down to st. Basil’s Orthodox mission for evening vespers.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed being inside a church. The smell of incense in the air, the feel of the beeswax candles in my hands and the golden icons waiting for veneration just a few feet in front of me. It was the spiritual nourishment that I needed most. In my day-to-day journeys I realized just how distant I had become from my own spiritual life. Sure I say the Jesus prayer everyday, but my soul was thirsty for water and yet by my actions all I gave it was soda pop.
I was starting to become held back spiritually. I felt like I had an anchor dragging behind me, slowing me down. I wasn’t living to the fullness of my ability. It has been nearly a month since my last Orthodox trucker post and while I have had five or six posts started and easily half-finished, I didn’t have the drive to push forward and get them done and published.
Two days ago, I was in Virginia. I was doing my morning pre-trip and had already checked all the lights and was now in the process of checking all my tires. I should have used a tire gauge to get a more accurate reading, but I was in a hurry and wanted to get on the road. I hit one of my tires with my large metal hammer and noticed that it didn’t sound like the other tires around it. I grabbed my tire gauge and stuck it on. This particular tire was only at 60 PSI. Each tire needs to be at a minimum of a hundred PSI. Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. The previous day I felt sluggish and slow, like there was something anchored to my trailer dragging me down. As soon as I realized the tire was low I took the extra time and inflated it to the correct pressure. I then hit the road and suddenly I no longer had this dragging feeling. My ride was smoother and I no longer felt like I had an anchor dragging behind me on the back of my trailer. It was at that moment that I realized my own spirituality also wasn’t properly inflated.
If we are to be followers of Christ and participants of the Church, then we need to continuously partake in her materials. Just like how a knife that is continuously sharpened will never lose its edge, an orthodox mind must too keep partaking in the mystical life. It’s not just Divine Liturgy or other church services that our hearts desire but other media and material. If you’re not using books or podcasts or liturgical music to help you engage in the faith, then you will starve yourself. If you’re not practicing morning and evening prayers or are not participating in liturgical Services whether live stream or in person, can you really say that you are an active participant in Orthodoxy? I’m not trying to point fingers because I am absolutely guilty of this myself. A relationship with Christ is a two-way street, just like any relationship. If you don’t do the work and participate, you won’t bear fruit. However just like a proper diet, your body and mind are better off when you consume/participate in the things that are healthier for you.
Some of the distractions that I allowed myself to get taken in by were silly mobile games on my phone, movies oh, and of course lots of sweets and fast food. And like I said the beginning of this post, it wasn’t until I was standing in Vespers last night that I truly realized just how thirsty for Orthodoxy I really was.
Thanks for reading my post my friends, I hope all of you are doing well and that are safe. I know the world is struggling, especially here in the United States. You are all in my prayers and I’ll see you next time.
– Orthodox Trucker
Atlanta Brave’s stadium. Thanks again Kat and Eddie!