Second Chances are great; we just have to know to use them.
I didn’t make that slogan up. I read it somewhere (And I don’t remember where!), and the author expounded on that topic by explaining how after awhile the excuse or plea to pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease give us one more chance (remember as kids we begged our parents — or more correctly, “I” begged “my” parents…??) is lame and stale. Eventually, we have to pay up, suffer the consequences, so to speak.
When I played piano for my professor back in college (or at weekly piano lessons as a younger student), I had the urge to start my piece of music a few times. Usually the refrain I would say would go something like: “Wait, let me start again…that doesn’t count..” and with a wave of my hand, I would take a deep breath, and begin the song again on the piano – from the beginning.
Until one teacher said to me, “hey, Miriam, start the piece one time, and keep going….”
Wow. What a concept. He was one tough teacher, but I did learn from that person to move forward, not backward.
So sometimes, we want to go back and correct our mistakes. Other times, we just move forward, and improve the future songs of our lives. Never mind the past. That is history.
On Rosh Hashanah, our rabbi spoke about how this holiday was two days – not one day. Even in Israel, where many of the Jewish holidays are celebrated for only one day, Rosh Hashana is still celebrated for two days. And why not? We need another chance, another gift to be able to pray better, articulate to G-d our praise and feelings, and to just do a better “job” at talking to G-d.
As our rabbi said, just in case we feel we “blew it” on the first day of the New Year, and didn’t get a really good “davening” (prayer session) in to our Hashem (G-d), we get a second chance.
Second chances work for me. I need that extra gift of time to process things, and improve. Revise, edit, and fix things up before turning them in.
And knowing that we (I) did our best is all we can really want. When we feel secure that we did our best, we know we can move forward with confidence.