With Rosh Hashana coming up in just a few hours, there's so much to think about.
Here are a few important points to keep in mind for this HUGE day.
When Hashem looked at Yishmael, he judged him ba'asher hu sham, the way he was right then, at that moment. This is how Hashem looks at each and every one of us. Your past doesn't matter when you are standing before Hashem in judgement. All that matters is where you are now. What do you want to do with your life and with your future? What is your focus going to be? Tell Hashem, I'm sorry for the things I did wrong. I'm sorry for the times I messed up. I really don't want to do the wrong thing! The yetzer hara is just so strong. But really, I want to be good adn I want to do the right thing! If you tell Hashem that deep inside your heart you want to do the right thing, that is how you are viewed and that is how you are judged.
Another important thing is to try to daven for other people and have them in mind. There are so many people who need your tefillos! When you daven and pour your heart out on this special day, think about your neighbors, friends and family. Think of people who are too sick to come to shul and daven. Daven for those who need parnassa, those who are waiting for all kinds of yeshuos and those children who left their Father and are out on the streets...daven for them to come back! Daven for those who were never introduced to yiddishkeit and don't know about the beauty of our heritage. Daven for anyone and everyone else that you can think of - for all those people who are waiting for brachos to come pouring down upon them.
There are some people who won't come to shul much, besides for coming to hear shofar. Remember, your tefillos at home are powerful too! If you don't get to daven much because you are home taking care of little children, remember that this is your job right now. Hashem wants you to be home and be busy with your little ones. Every tefillah you daven, whether from a machzor or from your own heart, is special and precious to Hashem. The job you have right now, raising the next generation, is the most important job - so don't belittle it and try not to get frustrated if you can't daven as much as you wanted to. Baruch Hashem for a good reason!
On Rosh Hashana, we are crowning Hashem as King. You say, Hashem, I want you to be my King and I want to be your servant! Let's daven for the day when Hashem will be recognized by all as King of the entire universe - for the day when Moshiach will finally come!
Remember-the time when the shofar is blown is extremely powerful. When you say the perek Lamnatzei'ach before you hear the shofar, you say it seven times. This is because each time you say it another one of the seven skies are opened up. So this is the perfect time to daven and beg Hashem for a good year! And don't be embarrassed to cry. Close yourself off from everyone else and let your mind and heart connect to Hashem. Hold your machzor in your hand and talk to Hashem. Let the tears flow, because tears can accomplish the most amazing things!
One last thing: At this time of year, we wish each other a SHANA TOVA - a good year. I heard from R' Eli Mansour that the word shana-year also comes from the word shinui-change. So we wish one another that this year should be one of GOOD CHANGES!!
May this year bring many good changes to all of you-spiritually, emotionally, financially, physically and may we hear lots of good news from everyone!!