A Sidekick's Blog

Reflections on the Collapse of the American Republic

July 6, 2015
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Lessons From Isolation

July 1, 2015

I wasn’t supposed to be home already, but my company could not find another load for me to haul that would get me back home in time to say goodbye to my little girl before she heads off to Papua, New Guinea as a part of New Tribes Mission‘s team. And since that was of top importance, they’ve got me home early.

I spent all day yesterday looking for local work in my home town and not surprisingly, there are still no jobs that pay much better than part-time minimum wage. So it looks like I’ll be back in the truck again on Monday, out for two weeks. It’s awful, but profitable both financially and spiritually – at least for me, at least for now. It’s kinda funny how some things can be good for one person and tragically devastating for another. Truck driving turns some guys into nasty, dirty, profane animals, while other drivers can take pride in their work and live above the moral grime even out here, living in a box for weeks at a time.

This is the box I’ll be living in again starting Monday:

She’s a beauty, ain’t she? A 2012 Freightliner with a 10-speed transmission, and auxiliary power (so I don’t have to idle the engine to run the air conditioner or heat when I’m not driving, and providing AC electrical power too). This is the first time I’ve enjoyed such luxury in a truck. The last time I tried this was horrible. Idling was forbidden, no auxiliary power was available, so you got your “rest” lying in a pool of your own sweat when it was hot, or shivering where it was cold. When I wake up after a rest break in this truck, I’m refreshed and truly rested. What a difference!

Oh, and it’s not red like I expected. It’s green… like in the original Boy Wonder’s uniform. But that dark green color is my favorite color, so I don’t object. Look for that 474 on the side and if you see me on the road, give a wave! When I’m home someone else uses that truck, so um, maybe you shouldn’t wave after all… unless you see a handsome sidekick in the driver’s seat, singing at the top of his lungs while cruising down the road. I do that a lot. Oh, y’wanna see the inside? Lookie here:

I’ve got lots of storage space, a cozy comfy bunk, stereo speakers, lights, desk space, counter space, padded walls (my first thought was “padded cell“), and a refrigerator that supposedly works (I see lights on, but it hasn’t cooled yet, so to me it’s more like an icebox).

When I get a little money for something other than bills, I’ll add a 12-volt coffeemaker, a throw rug, and maybe a CB radio because some places insist on using CB to inform the drivers that a door is ready for loading or unloading (other than that I have no use for a stupid CB radio). A signal booster for my cell phone too, since several places I’ve gone so far have no cell service (Sprint). And maybe a wifi antenna. I refuse to pay for wifi service, so I really only use it when it’s free. I have no need for a TV or any of that stuff. But I am gonna collect CDs of sermons I miss at church so I can listen in the truck, since decent Christian radio is increasingly rare. There are usually some of those “Christian” bubble-gum stations, but good stuff like Moody radio is hard to find on the road. I could try one of those satellite radio things I suppose, when money isn’t so darn tight.

Okay so much for the physical / material stuff. The important stuff is how my Father and Hero are using these circumstances for God’s glory and my good! It has been so amazing. To sum up in a single word, I would choose the word TRIUMPH! Here is how:

I am winning my battles in the same way that my Lord Jesus Christ won His own victory: Surrender! Stay with me now, I know that doesn’t sound very much like victory and triumph, but hang in there and I’ll explain.

The Enemy is sin and death. Not Satan, not evil, but sin and it’s effects. If the enemies of Christ had understood what He was up to, they would not have crucified Him (1st Corinthians 2:8)! Yet “He has now reconciled us in His body through death (Colossians 2:22),” paying the penalty for our sin and liberating His followers from the terrible justice of God for our guilt. His surrender is our victory! But He was not ultimately defeated. The Father resurrected Him following His atoning sacrifice, and in Him we too will inherit resurrection! Ultimate victory! His surrender is more than just victory over the PENALTY of our sin, but also over its POWER over us. And one fine day, over it’s very PRESENCE which interferes at times with our relationship with Him, now that we are sinners are reconciled to holy God.

“If You wish me to live in a truck until You return for me, I’ll do it,” I said, finally, after two days of random, uncontrollable crying jags at the so-called hardship of trucking. I have been reading Peter’s epistles lately in my quiet time, and following Peter back to the Old Testament scriptures he frequently quotes in his letters. In those passages I continually find that rebels get away with nothing in the end; that God always rescues a faithful remnant that serves Him; that even death itself is no victory over His own. In such surrender to Him, I continually win victory after victory over the “after-effects” of my forgiven sin.
The Surprising Effects of Victorious Surrender

It gives me immunity from road rage. There are a lot of really stupid idiots on the roads these days. My victory keeps me from cursing them and allows me to do the opposite! “Lord bless that poor idiot so that he doesn’t kill himself or anyone else” comes out of my mouth instead of the “normal” calls for damnation. As a forgiven sinner, I am certainly in no position to condemn anyone else!

The isolation I have surrendered to gives me victory over my old carnal thought life. “Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2nd Corinthians 10:5)” is something I never truly acknowledged as even being possible for me until now. I can recite His word, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs at the top of my lungs all day long (impossible in most jobs, but easy in a big rig), and pray literally all day long! Prayer in which I actually do more listening than speaking, which is awesome. Idle time is a huge threat to most people. In fact being idle has usually been very dangerous – spiritually speaking – for me! But now I am never bored. And never really idle, since I fill my time behind the wheel with worship and prayer.

I’m losing weight! I worried that I’d get fat and disgusting sitting on my well-fed butt for a living, but I rarely ever get hungry even when I’m not driving. I don’t snack out of boredom like I used to. And I drink more water now than before. I feel healthier and happier surrendered to a Master who cares more for me than anyone.

You benefit from my victorious surrender as well. Because I pray all day long for you. My prayers are guided by His word and Spirit, by the names in my church directory; family, missionaries, churches, leaders both spiritual and civil, members of the military, prayer for God-breathed revival instead of this manufactured fake stuff that we see so far. With a prayer warrior on your side who is free to battle in prayer all day long, you too, dear reader, directly benefit from my surrender. I think it’s the least I can do, since I owe such a vast debt of love not only to my heavenly Father, but to all those who have battled in prayer for me for many years! I am happy for a chance to replay the kindness, knowing that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).”

My church is studying the book of Romans on Sunday mornings. We may be there for years, the way our pastor handles it, expositing a single book at a time. I can hardly wait ’til we get to chapters 7 and 8 where it tells more about this wonderful surrender! It’s okay to look ahead… to know more of what I’m writing about here, please refer to Paul’s epistle to the Romans.

Back on the road soon,