By Jolly Mokorosi
The older I get the more I lean on the wisdom passed down to me by my parents. Mostly because it makes sense. We don’t always see it at the time. They would say things like study what you can when you can. Food first. No matter what happened financially at home my parents always made sure they bought the best food they could with their money. They didn’t allow us to eat junk. They went organic before it became fashionable. They would tell us that all this nasty stuff ends up in your body and shows up somewhere unpleasant and it will cost you a whole lot to sort it out, and sometimes it is too late to sort out no matter how much money you have.
My parents work hard and have instilled a good biblical work ethic in me. My mom told me when we were kids about my grandfather who said those who don’t work don’t eat. All this was gobbeldy gook for a teenager or even a preteen like I was in most of the instances. Now that I have my own life outside of my parents – my own home, family and husband I still go back. Even as I go through a crisis the words my parents spoke decades ago come back to guide me as the principals remain eternal.
What does all this have to do with Sabbath rest? Sometimes I find myself in a state of panic because of the sheer volume of what has been placed on my shoulders. Sometimes I feel like being an executive feels like it should be a full time job performed by a well programmed robot. Being a mom can be extremely unrewarding at the low moments and we will skip the part about being a wife through our lowest seasons. God forbid you have those moments when all this is happening at the same time. By this stage the gym has become a distant memory and when you step on the scale your weight looks like a serial number. Quiet times have been reduced to a few seconds of prayer asking God for His divine protection your family, even from you. You feel like you are juggling so many balls and someone keeps adding more. Because you are in the circus ring already and there is an audience with expectations you can’t stop your act now and tell this person to stop adding balls. So you just keep keeping on and burnout is just around the corner.
A long time ago I learnt my first hymn that stuck – Seek thee first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. In other words talk to God first and find out what and how He wants you to do something and you will achieve what you need to do the best you can with the life you have been entrusted with. What an amazing guiding light for those times when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death and it is all dark around you. Just to prove what divine wisdom comes from it you can use the same song (which is a direct quote of scripture – Matt 6:33) to guide your happy sunshine days too.
When I started thinking about the imbalances in my life I remembered that God, in His wisdom, commanded Sabbath rest. He did not suggest it He commanded it! So for 6 days He worked really hard to make all the stuff we see today and marvel over and on the7th day He folded his arms in satisfaction and enjoyed His work. I have gone through periods where I have worked around the clock for months on end. I have had those times when I leave home and the moon is still in the sky or got home from work when everyone was asleep. Sooner or later you lose the plot. Got to a board meeting and there was little appreciation of the sacrifice of the last little while. If you are like me at this point you lose the mind. Paradoxically at this point my natural instinct is to work harder and dammit prove to them that I can get this right and am the best man for the job.
My mother reminds me that we are human beings not human doings. There is no way your mother and God can say the same thing and it is not true. So I am trying to remember to take a Sabbath but be a worker worthy of their wages and also do my work as unto God. After a Sabbath rest I find that I come back with new ideas, fresh thinking, renewed energy to tackle problems and am less likely to fire someone that week. More importantly my children enjoy their mother and my husband enjoys his wife. Being a person with a large need for personal space I also enjoy my own company for a little. I may not necessarily go to church on the Sabbath but I enjoy a little time with the Lord and having a ‘mini’ date with Him or going on a fact finding mission to know Him more and the mission He has for me. I rest over the weekend but if I can tell that the next week is a really bad week and I will need to work over the weekend to get a handle on it before it begins I then take a day off during the week. So I don’t rigidly have it on the same day but the principal remains the same. Enjoy your Sabbath rest.
About the Author
Jolly is the Founder and CEO of Mokorosi Financial Consulting, in the recent past she was acting CEO of the Municipal Councillors Pension Fund. She has a passion for members’ rights in the pension fund industry and a desire to see women shine in the business arena. She is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she resides with her husband, Sam. They have five children and several pot plants.