Friday, September 22, 2006

Shalom, shana tova!

Peace, and a good year! More on that later.

I was directed to dress up today because I'm the receptionist and big-time oil executives from our Calgary office are visiting the Denver HQ. My bosses made a pretty big deal about it. So I, being the happy-to-submit-to-authority type that I am, dressed exactly the same as always (which is very nice and professional, and didn't need to be changed, in my opinion). Anyway, it's usually casual Friday, which means jeans, so I think I did pretty good with my boots and skirt. Then I noticed that instead of slacks and ties, the men on my team are wearing jeans and cotton polos. My BOSS is wearing tennis shoes and jeans and a denim jacket. WHAT?? And I'm wearing a skirt? I SHAVED my LEGS!!! Incidentally, I haven't even SEEN any executives. Whine, whine, whine.

Speaking of whine, I need to go buy some (wine, that is) for Rosh Hashana tomorrow, which segues conveniently into what's been on my mind lately. For me, the High Holy Days are a time to reflect and re-evaluate. It's a time to remember the past and celebrate the future. It's a time that always reminds me God's goodness and grace as I reconcile the ancient traditions of Judaism with the redeeming work that Christ my saviour did on the cross. Instead of spending ten days repenting I spend ten days searching my heart, humbling myself before the Lord and seeking His face. It is a time to be thankful for His provision, His promises, and His mercy. As the new year for legal contracts, it is a time to break old ties that have kept me bound and to forge new Holy agreements.

I just have to remember the grace that is available to me now... this is a constant struggle. I am justified by Christ, and have been set free. I am free indeed! My tendency around this time of year would typically be to focus on my failings, my inadequacies, my insufficiencies. I would resolve to be righteous, to pray more, fast more, give more; as if my strivings could earn merit in the sight of the Almighty! My righteousness is like filthy rags before Him. I've since matured a little and realized how much my merit before God is worth. If he gave me what I deserved, what I earned... But He loves me, HAS loved me since before creation, and continues to love me IN SPITE of my sin and pride and humanity. My hearts deepest desire is to live a pure and righteous life that is pleasing to God, but I am insufficient. Everyone is, but His grace is sufficient for me, and His mercies are new every day. My God is bigger than my sin.

Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxieties; see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV

Ketima Ve-Chatima Tovah! May you be written and sealed for a good year!