Most of my friends know by now that after working on a new career the last year and a half, I made the difficult decision to return to trucking in October.
When I left trucking almost two years ago, I dreaded every day in the ‘saddle’. I was angry, sullen , and generally not a fun person to be around. So when events seemed to force me to reconsider going back over the road, I was understandably concerned. Could I stand it again? Would I self destruct? What if i revert back to that angry man?
I can say that the past two months have been reassuring. Not the least is how easily I have re-acclimated to long days in the seat. Refining old habits has been a challenge too! Learning to drive slower and without the aggressiveness of the past has been tough. Relearning how to exist as a near hermit has been easier than I imagined it would be.(Not sure what that says about me!).
One difference this time is I determined to use the time in the cab in a godly and productive way. In the past my time was spent listening to music and talk radio, neither of which builds my soul. So, one of the changes I made was to find a way to fill my ears with good things; I listen to audio books on MP3. It is truly amazing the variety of good books that are available, In the past few weeks I have learned from C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Dietrich Bonhoffer, Alistair Begg, and many others. Listening to the Bible as it is read is quite a different experience than just reading it. Between classic novels and newer fiction, I have been to ancient Wales following Rhy Bran Houd (Robin Hood) and followed the Tribulation saints through trouble. I was there in King Arthurs’ court right next to a Connecticut Yankee.
One question from the beginning of this iteration of my journey has been ‘How can I best be used of God in this?’ One thing that struck me is that my life resembles a monks’. Long periods of solitude and sporadic interaction with other people. Following that thought, I have decided to investigate and attempt to pattern my walk into a monastic style for as long as God leads me in this direction.
So exactly what is a monk? A monk (from Greek: μοναχός, monachos, “single, solitary”) is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decided to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his life in prayer and contemplation. (And yes there have been, and are, married monks!)
Part of my new direction will be implementing a daily routine (as much as a trucker can have a routine) of prayer and meditation along with bible reading and study. Integrating a meditative habit into a chaotic, hectic life of trucking shall be, umm, interesting to say the least!
Another aspect I will be investigating is monastic vows. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but the thought of a handful of kernels of truth or touch points on which to base by daily decisions is appealing to me.
As a conservative christian raised in the Baptist tradition, I had never considered the trappings and tradition of the orthodox and catholic church to be important, more a hindrance than a help when it comes to really knowing God. I have come to understand that there is much good in liturgy and order. (As I’ve thought about it, I think even the most non-liturgical churches have their traditions…just try to change the order of service in most any church, like maybe reverse the order of communion and sermon, or do the offering in a different way).
I hope you will check in with me from time to time as I travel this road for as long as it leads me.
The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ Numbers 6:24-26 (NASB77)