Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a workaholic. Always have been. Not really proud of it. When I’m not at work in my marketing job, I’m at work on my author/speaker/book coaching career…writing, reading and editing other people’s writing, marketing my own work and that of others, speaking, looking for speaking opportunities, following up with the people to whom I speak…the list goes on. I’m tired just thinking about it.
I worked most of the day yesterday (although I secretly knew I shouldn’t be working on the Sabbath…which is what I had just heard in the Old Testament reading at Mass!) And then we had dinner with a friend who asked if I took one day off a week (which she recommended that everyone should)? I nearly laughed. One day off a week? I rarely take one day off a month! This particular friend is a counselor so I actually didn’t laugh. I knew she was right, God even tells us this in the Bible: “Remember to keep holy the sabbath day. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”
I know sometimes I work because it is a distraction from personal or spiritual stuff I should be focusing on….relationships that need mending, prayer and meditation, reading the Bible…stuff that sometimes seems harder than my regular work. But most of the time I work to get “caught up.” In yesterday’s Gospel reading Jesus turned over the tables of the merchants and money-changers in the temple. These “salespeople” justified they were merely selling livestock and produce to those who traveled to the temple and had forgotten or ran out of time to buy sacrificial items to offer up to God. It seems I may be a little like them…justifying the work I am doing on the Sabbath…even though there is really no justification for breaking God’s commandment.
Going forward, I pray that I am able to focus, especially during this Lenten season, on taking time out to spend with the Lord…whether that means spending it with family and friends, my husband or even just with myself…to experience more peace and joy on the day God designated to be kept holy.