In the journey of our lives, fathers often serve as the guiding mentors who weave together the lessons and values we carry with us throughout our lifetime. As we celebrated Father’s Day in September, this blog was written with the purpose of honouring our dads and showing them an appreciation for the incredible role they play in the lives of our Church Family.
“5 Lessons My Father Taught Me” will talk about five lessons my father Simba Masoso taught me. Each lesson offers a unique insight into living a life of purpose, resilience and fulfilment. The greatest challenge I had was narrowing down a long list to 5. The 5 lessons I am going to focus on include the importance of seeking first the Kingdom of God, the value of hard work, the art of generosity, the strength of unity and the significance of dreaming big.
- Seek First the Kingdom
"But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also".
In the early 1990s, a transformative event occurred in our family when my father found Jesus. It was as if he had discovered his life's purpose. His newfound faith became a beacon, illuminating the path to a deeper understanding of life's meaning and fulfilment. Although my mother had been saved many years prior, I can say with certainty that when my father found Jesus, God elevated our household.
My father's faith led him to serve God through every aspect of his life. He made it his mission to ensure that everyone around him came to know God. His life became a living testament to the significance of seeking God's Kingdom, first and foremost. He embodied the teachings of Matthew 6:33, emphasising that by seeking God's righteousness and aligning one's life with His character, everything else would fall into place.
My father’s spiritual journey not only enriched his own life but also became a source of inspiration for all of us. It served as a reminder that true fulfilment could only be found in living in alignment with the values and character of God. This by far is the first and greatest lesson my father taught me.
- Dream Big
'Dreams are the seeds of greatness. Without them, we remain just ordinary people, leading ordinary lives'. Simba Masoso
Growing up, my father consistently encouraged my sisters and I to dream big. He was unwavering in his belief that our aspirations should know no bounds. It was a lesson rooted in his own remarkable journey which began in the 1950s in Zimbabwe— then known as Rhodesia— a country under British colonial rule and marked by severe racial segregation policies. In this oppressive environment, Africans faced not only discrimination but also limited access to education and economic opportunities. The prospects for African children like my father were heavily challenged, with underfunded schools further diminishing his chances for a brighter future.
My father, however, was a testament to the enduring power of dreams. He refused to let his environment, upbringing or ethnicity restrict his aspirations. He taught us that dreams were not just empty pictures, but the very seeds of greatness. He believed that nurturing these dreams was the key to overcoming internal and external limitations. Despite the formidable challenges and limitations of his time, my father embodied the spirit of aspiration, aiming to create a better future not only for himself but also for his family and his nation. He refused to be a victim and chose to focus on dreaming big.
- Work Hard
'While dreams provide vision and motivation, it's commitment, diligence and determination through hard work that turn those dreams into reality' Simba Masoso.
One of the most enduring lessons my father imparted was the value of hard work. I can vividly recall my earliest memories of him, dressed in a suit and tie, preparing to leave for work in his Renault 25. This image was a constant reminder that success was closely tied to a strong work ethic. Throughout my upbringing, my father consistently displayed a positive attitude towards his work and various business endeavours.
His career journey, which began as a teacher, exemplified his relentless commitment to hard work. He later transitioned into local government in Chivi, his birthplace, before venturing into various government departments. Through diligence and unwavering determination, he gradually ascended to a high-level position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representing our nation on three diplomatic missions to Mozambique, Germany and the USA. Even upon his retirement, he continued to pursue various entrepreneurial ventures, with a special focus on his passion for farming.
Through his life's journey, my father emphasised that dreams, while providing vision and motivation, could only be turned into reality through commitment, diligence and unwavering determination. He taught us that hard work was the transformative force that could bridge the gap between aspiration and achievement.
4. Be Generous
My father's generosity was a defining aspect of his character. However, it extended far beyond material giving. His philosophy of generosity was rooted in the idea that true giving meant empowering others to become self-sufficient. His principle was simple yet profound: give with the intention of enabling others to forge their own paths to success.
My father went to great lengths to support the education of numerous relatives, offering employment opportunities both directly and indirectly, and assisting people in pursuing better prospects abroad. Importantly, his generosity was never conditional upon reciprocation. He derived the greatest joy when those he helped made the most of his generosity. His life served as a living testament to the belief that the greatest good one can do for another is not just to share riches, but to empower others to attain their own.
My Father’s generosity was not confined to immediate family or close friends; it extended to those in need, irrespective of their background or circumstances. It was a lesson in empathy and the enduring ripple effect of kindness. Through his actions, he showed that true generosity not only transforms the lives of others but also enriches one's own life in immeasurable ways.
- Power of Unity
"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Simba Masoso
My father's profound understanding of the power of unity was a lesson he exemplified throughout his life. As one of 15 siblings, he understood the significance of family bonds and the strength that could be derived from collective effort. Unity, in his view, was not just a choice but a powerful strategy for progress and lasting success.
Maintaining family unity was his life's mission. He firmly believed that unity held the key to overcoming challenges and achieving shared goals. This belief was not limited to our family; it extended to his interactions with friends and relatives around the world. To nurture this unity, he maintained a meticulous schedule for staying connected with loved ones across the globe. His dedication to family and friends served as a beacon, demonstrating the profound impact of forging and maintaining meaningful connections. He passed on this value to our immediate family, even though we lived on different continents. He consistently encouraged us to remain united, emphasising that our greatest joy would come from witnessing the strength and bond of our family in the upcoming generations.
As I reflect on these five profound lessons my father taught me, I am reminded that they are not mere words, but guiding principles that have shaped my life's journey. My father graduated to heaven last year and even though he is no longer with us, his teachings continue to light my path, offering guidance, strength, and inspiration. That is why we want to take the opportunity to encourage you to honour and love the fathers in our lives. Let’s make not only September but the rest of the year a time to show them our gratitude for the countless ways they have enriched our lives. In the case of my father, his lessons have not only contributed to my life but also served as a testament to the profound influence of a loving and wise father in someone's life.
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