No (More) Strings Attached

Pinocchio and Yom Kippur

When I think about Yom Kippur, I think about Pinocchio.

What? Why Pinocchio? You may be thinking about how his nose that gets longer every time he tells a lie. And yes, you could draw a connection from this to Yom Kippur, as a time that we strive to be transparent about our sins. (They will find us out, after all.)

But that’s not the most important thing about him. The most important thing is that Pinocchio was a wooden puppet who wanted to become a real boy.  After many trials, errors and (mis)adventures he finally achieves his goal. Sometimes I think of myself as Pinocchio and wonder what it really means to become real? To become the type of person who honestly knows myself, admits my mistakes, repents of my sins and learns how to walk with God in righteousness. What a vision! Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) may appear to focus on our sinfulness, but this is just a gateway to the great hope we all carry inside us for a better self, and a better world.

During the last days of the month of Elul I concluded that my theme for the fall festivals was to be quietness. The month leading into the festival season is a time for a quiet peace, a restful peace, a chance to hush the many voices in my head and gently turn my attention to God’s voice. After all, Yeshua is my good shepherd, and his sheep hear his voice. How can I be a true member of the fold unless I can recognize his voice from a mile away?

When Samuel hears the voice of God in the stillness of the night, Eli tells him to respond by saying, “Speak, Adonai, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10) It is only in the still moments that I can hear his voice and truly respond with, “your servant is listening.” Or, as so many protagonists in the Bible have responded, “Hineni. Here am I.” What is more important than listening to God? If we don’t hear him how can we know what reality even is, much less become real ourselves?

As I observe Yom Kippur, which concludes these ten Days of Awe, I feel the need for a time of listening to the voice of Adonai. I want to hear what Adonai has to say to me. I want to be real.

May Adonai our God bless you this season as you hear his voice and walk in obedience to him.

TOPICS: Elul, Pinocchio, Yom Kippur