This year Yom Kippur began at sunset on October 4th and lasted 25 hours ending on October 5th. During those hours, believers fasted, anointed their bodies with oil, and ceased to wear leather shoes. “Yom” means “day” and “Kippur” means “atonement.” It is a day honored by generations of Jewish believers going back to Abraham. Many dress in white, seeking reminders of what it means to be pure in God’s sight. They spend this solemn timeframe recognizing God is Sovereign, and that God alone brings forgiveness for their souls. It is a day to push the world aside and remember all that God has done, and all that He is yet to do.

Perhaps others of us can find a gift or two in the celebration of Yom Kippur. What happens when we are very intentional about God? That means we choose to think about God and that we don’t care what the rest of the world might be doing. We simply want to stop everything, surrender our foolish ways, our stubborn spirits, our willingness to be a little bit crazy, and remember that we are not in this world alone. We are not in charge. We are simply part of the grand scheme of events that was begun long before we arrived. 

How does one step out of the world, you might wonder? After all, the world is too much with us as William Wordsworth once wrote. The world stampedes through our living rooms like the wild animals in Jumanji. Everything is spinning, suddenly in chaos, simply because we fill our minds with the morning headlines and the social media cacophony. Perhaps it would be refreshing for any of us to be focused, ready to concentrate on the One who created us and the One who redeemed us.

As we enjoy that focused, peaceful moment, we might also be pleased to realize that God still is. He is still in charge. He is still watching over every living being. He is still invested in the plans He set in motion. Nothing makes Him rejoice as much as knowing that we are doing what we can to get to know Him better. He loves it when we seek Him in prayer, wanting only to connect to Him, and be at one with Him. He loves us more than we will ever comprehend.

God seeks the faithful, those who can resist the foolishness of the world’s wisdom and remember to let His light shine. Be at one with your Creator and Redeemer. Let Him show you that He lives, and He sees you right where you are. Enjoy the gifts of this day.