Welcome to Teshuvah – Elul 9
Today is nine
He said the work schedule
Is right on time
I rise early
Then meet and go
If it weren’t for Him
I wouldn’t t know
I have so much to learn
About deadly weeds
I didn’t realize the danger
Or know about seeds
He’s begun teaching me
Good or bad
And soil saturation
Words have power
Check the seeds sown
Once in the ground
What is planted is grown
He speaks in parables
While explaining this stuff
Is my Teshuvah Date
Making this rough
He said it is given to me
The mysteries To know
We require more plowing
Before we can sow
© laurette laster
The work of repentance or Teshuvah is much like readying and plowing our fields prior to sowing. This is the season of plowing after summers harvest has been harvested.
I had to go to Frisco TX today for an appointment. This is actually a rescheduled appointment from last week. I left my house with 10 minutes to spare, just North of Denton TX I got the GPS message that there was an accident ahead and I could expect a 20 minute delay. When I called the office they suggested I reschedule because they were short staffed. I thought to myself, had I taken the back way this wouldn’t be an issue.
We have two options when going to Frisco, McKinney, Allen or Plano. We have the option to take the back way as we call it. This allows me to avoid the interstate and traffic. The rural country drive is scenic and very picturesque. You almost feel as if you’ve stepped back in time during some of the trip. Today as I was driving I was so excited to see freshly plowed fields. These fields had cotton and corn a few months ago but now they are back to the basics. Freshly plowed and awaiting seasonal rains so farmers can sow seed for their crops.
As I was leaving I had a strong unction to grab my camera but pushed back the urge. I was sure disappointed when I came upon the freshly plowed fields that I didn’t have anything except my iPhone camera to take pictures with. I said, oh Lord, “this is why You urged me to grab my camera.” I pulled over and drove into the field, taking the rugged entrance made by the tractor and grabbed my phone to take these pictures. Looking at the plowed field made my mind consider a term I heard recently.
This year I learned a new term, hearing someone say, “SET YOUR PLOWS FOR DEEP.” Choosing deep for the plow helps with water retention. A few weeks ago I wrote how the ground was dry and brittle, and cracking open. Hard brittle ground does not absorb the moisture it actually repels it and the water runs off, expect where it has cracked open allowing the water to flow in. Just like being hardened or full of pride repels the blessing or the seed sown. The Sower sows the word but the ground and the condition of the soil determines whether or not the seed can grow and bring forth a harvest. We are the labors in the field, first ours, then helping others to learn the parable and the meaning.
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62 KJV)
The above scripture references starting out then looking back, as in longing for, or the desire to go back to the way it used to be. The Greek word for not fit, or disqualified, is “ipso facto.” The man who looks back is therefore, “ipso facto”, disqualified for the work of God’s kingdom. Our Lord knows full well how difficult the journey into the will of God is; remember He sweated great drops of blood. But He also set His face like flint according to the prophet. And we know we have all of heaven backing us in this work.
When we begin the work of repentance we want our heart to be cleared of all old stalks and debris. If we are to have an abundant harvest it will require us to set our face like flint and not look back.
Chabad.org Based on the teachings of Lubavitcher Rebbe
In the latter respect, the month of Elul resembles the “holy” portions of the calendar. Elul is a haven in time, a “city of refuge” from the ravages of material life; a time to audit one’s spiritual accounts and assess the year gone by; a time to prepare for the “Days of Awe” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by repenting the failings of the past and resolving for the future; a time to increase in Torah study, prayer and charitable activities. Elul is the opportune time for all this because it is a month in which G d relates to us in a more open and compassionate manner than He does in the other months of the year. In the terminology of Kabbalah, it is a time when G d’s “Thirteen Attributes of Mercy” illuminate His relationship with us.
The month of Elul, says Rabbi Schneur Zalman, is when the king is in the field.
Indeed, the field is the prototype employed by Torah law to define the “work” that distinguishes between the holy and mundane days of the calendar.
In the month of Elul, however, the king comes to the field.
What happens when the king comes to the field? To understand the essence of Elul, we must first examine the relationship between the palace and the field — between Shabbat and the workweek, between the very concepts of “holy” and “mundane.” Are they really as distant from each other as their very different faces suggest?
I pray for all of us that this is a time to discern between the holy and the mundane.
This is the beginning of the fiscal month for many businesses and companies. A time to close out the books and make plans by assessing what worked, and what was profitable, and seeing what was not profitable. After looking honestly at this record of accounts we make plans for the coming year. Is this so different from taking time to look at our life and the past months? I want to make plans according to God’s calendar and His desires.
I’m ready to dig deep or set my plow for deep this year. I’m so hungry for all that God has for me. I’m digging in and not looking back. How about you?
God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give you Shalom.
Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette