“I Have a G-d!”
The letters of the word Elul can be rearranged to read “lo El”—“he has a G-d.” The moment we understand that we do have a good G-d, one who gives us life so that we can fix what is broken, we’ve laid the groundwork so that we can do the intensive inventory of Elul. Without that knowledge, teshuvah can unfortunately descend into an exercise in self-flagellation instead of what it’s meant to be: the positive clearing away of spiritual refuse and obstacles so that we can reconnect with our Source.
Every day is a gift, granted to us for a reason…because G-d is with us. Elul is the sweetest time when we understand that every effort we make to turn back to our Creator is eternally precious. As Rebbe Nachman stresses from the Zohar, “No matter what, no good desire is ever lost!”
Even if we only want to change for the better, that is also something real and important. Reb Nosson writes that it is worth living a full life even for one sincere word of prayer or holy desire.
Dear G-d, help me to do all that I can to draw closer to You. And help me to remember that, even when I fall short, I’m not lost. “Lo El”—You’re still with me, as I walk my way toward You.