Before I moved to South Florida in 1998, I didn't really think much about the Jewish high holy days. I hadn't known many Jews. We had Jewish neighbors in Montgomery, Alabama when I was growing up. I noticed that they decorated their house with blue lights around Christmas time. I assumed that Hanukkah was like Christmas, only drawn out over more days. That was about the extent of my encounters with Jews.
Certainly I read about Jewish people. As a young person, I was somewhat obsessed with the Holocaust and the formation of Israel. But I hadn't met many Jewish people.
Then we moved to South Florida, and the community college where I worked gave us the Jewish high holy days as holidays. Swell. I'm an ecumenical gal. As I went shopping for shoes, I did wonder about more traditional ways of celebrating the holiday. But I wasn't doing much religious celebrating of any kind.
Now, I've become a much more observant Lutheran. I've met a lot more people of different faiths. Always an ecumenical person, I've become ever more intrigued by the similarities and differences in world religions.
I like the idea of a day of atonement. As long as I get a chance to try again, I like remembering that I've fallen short.
Sure, there are days when I'd like to just throw in the towel. How much easier it would be to live alone, to never have to realize that I'm still far away from being the partner I wish I could be. I get tired of trying to be a better leader at work. It's hard work being a friend.
But it's worth it.
So today, as the sun sets, I'll ask for forgiveness from God for all the ways I've fallen short as a human. It would probably be a good day to end every day.
And tomorrow, I'll wake up and ask for help as I try to be the best human I can be. I do try to remember that prayer every morning. I'm ready for transformation, even though the work that gets me there can be painful.
feeling the feelings…
11 months ago