Don’t rush into Pesach (Passover)!
I know Rosh Hashanah comes up fast, but stay with it for a little while! Mark this celebration and I believe the Ruach will speak to your heart.
How does one celebrate Yah’s New Year without midnight, Dick Clark, Times Square, the Ball dropping, the Rose Parade and New Years resolutions? Well, what the Ruach has in mind is a lot more personal and healing than all of that nonsense. If you are faithful to Yahovah then His “New Year Celebration” is important to re-discover and re-claim. But it will take you a little creativity and energy to establish for your children something more meaningful than the Pagan’s celebrations.
First of all, I think we should notice that Rosh Hashanah ushers in Spring. Spring means green. Spring means planting. Spring means life re-newed! For all you gardeners, isn’t it in the Spring that we begin to look at our gardens and get them ready for planting? I’m no green-thumb yet, but I’m getting all excited to plant my garden and try again. Okay, that is after 2 feet of snow recede and the gray clouds give way to blue sky days. This winter I have spent some time pouring over our favorite seed catalog, Baker Creek Heirlooms. I have found a good amount of hope in it’s full-color pages while the wind, rain and snow swirl outside our canvas lodge. It has helped me remember that Spring will come again. Our agricultural exploits this year will be different than last. Thankfully. This Spring we get to try our new compost material–that has been brewing for 2 years–on the garden. Maybe my seeds will fair better in a richer soil — producing a better harvest. Last year the mountain soil had never been asked to support a garden. Therefore, it lacked a lot of nutrients that my seeds needed. On top of poor soil, irrigation was minimal, because it was done by hand. Can I say exhausting?
This year will be different. Compost and better irrigation. I’m excited to see the result. But it is what I do with the soil this Spring that will greatly affect the harvest at the end of the summer.
And so it is with our hearts.
“But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matt 13:23 (Yahshuah)
Cultivating the soil of our hearts in the Spring is crucial. Why? We do this so that our hearts can be ready for Yahovah to plant new seeds during His upcoming Feast season for the harvest. ‘Prepping the soil of our heart’ is an integral part of celebrating and marking Rosh Hashanah. Remember what Yah-shuah said about the soil of our hearts and how important ‘good soil’ was? I wonder if he was speaking of that during Rosh Hashanah that year, interpreting the celebration for us . . . hmmmm.
Never-the-less, how do you ‘cultivate the soil of your heart?’ How do you get the good soil Yahshuah was talking about? Of course, Yahshuah was talking about us receiving the “Good Heart” which is the good soil.* Therefore, in pursuit of that ‘good soil’ I’m sure there are many ways the Ruach can do this, but let me offer two observations for this time during Rosh Hashanah:
REHEARSING. Rehearsing is like taking a rototiller to your garden. It stirs things up and brings oxygen to the layers of packed and compressed memories. I would contend that it is of extreme importance to enter Rosh Hashanah by rehearsing the past year. Your life matters. The road you have traveled matters. Not just to you and your family, but to Elohim–for They have traveled with you, moment-by-moment. Even HOW you recall your journey matters. Will it be with thankfulness or grumbling? What attitude woos your own heart, the heart of those watching you and even Elohim Themselves? Maybe you remember easily, but if you are like most, you are probably a forgetter. John Eldredge says that forgetfulness is our worst enemy. So put on your Sherlock Holmes cap and look to see where Elohim have moved in your life this past year. Find the joy They established in you. Remember the grief and that it mattered. Recall the memories and the movement of your family . . . her beauty, his strength, their laughter, your tears. It’s important to not let year-after-year accumulate until they are simply a blur. That is way hard on your heart. This will make the soil of your heart stony and an unfit place for Yahovah to plant anything.
REFLECTION. Reflection also cultivates the soil of your heart. I think it adds ‘nutrients’ to your heart’s soil. Don’t just ‘rehearse,’ but practice the art of reflection. When you ‘reflect’ the Ruach can add nutrients to your heart’s ‘soil’ that are needed to support new life. Flying through life, year-after-year does not honor your Creator. Ignoring your journey does not do anyone any good. Neglecting the past and moving on to the next thing is like neglecting the unseen condition of the tilled-up soil. The soil may look fluffy and ready to plant, but it might be devoid of nutrients! Touting the “I’m fine”, “All is good” cliché’s may get you out of cheap conversations and it may be what is fashionable in our flippant foyer dialog, but it is NOT helpful to the condition of our hearts. It is not how we were wired. We are wired to need time of reflection. And reflection with someone who has witnessed our life–and cares–is even more healing. Reflection helps us make sense of our lives, but ignoring the events of our lives does not establish confidence. Confidence in our own ‘growing in holiness’ or in our amazing Elohim. It can’t. It never will. Period.
So, as you enter the new year take some time to celebrate no matter what you are in the midst of. Don’t rush into Pesach and the Spring Feasts. Don’t miss the beauty of Rosh Hashanah. Sit with it. Let the Ruach till and feed the soil of your heart. Let Her cast out the stones and create in you a place that Yah’s seeds will be able to grow and produce good fruit. Take this opportunity in Yahovah’s calendar to look back and find hope for the next 12 months! Don’t move on until you have contemplated the blessings and sorrow that have come your way. The story of your life matters—-honestly.
For my family–about this time of year we need an infusion. The soil of our hearts are in no way ready for Yah’s precious seeds He might want to plant in us during the new Feast season. The ground of our hearts seems stiff and hard as the winter was miserable. We desperately need something drastic to ‘shock’ our soil. Our hearts need help to come back to life after a very hard winter. Therefore, in search of life, we follow the wild Ruach as She is calling us South into some heat and sunshine for a much-needed break. For us, this is the road that will begin the process of cultivating and caring for the soil of our hearts. There is no use staying where we are–for Yahovah can’t plant anything in our hearts right now. It would be pointless. We would miss out. The soil of our hearts are hard, cold and a little toxic. But, as experience has told us before, we will come back from the desert heat thawed out, tilled up and much more nutrient rich.
I believe if you follow my suggestions and your heart will be glad you stopped and took account. I believe Elohim will be glad you did, too. It just might make Their job of restoring your heart a little easier. Sit down with Elohim, enjoy a glass of wine together, pour over a ‘catalog of seeds’ and enter a memory jam session–together. Enter this festival of Rosh Hashanah to recall Their faithfulness to you and I believe you will also discover healing.
We are off to find the sunshine and to look for the Aviv Moon from a hill-top in the South!
(This article was written for http://www.CommandmentKeepers.com while we lived in the tipi a few years ago. I wanted to post it again because I think it is very important.)