We have heard it said that time waits for on one, time marches on.  While it can be debated as to whether or not these adages are true, their intentions ar the same; to pressure us into doing something sooner rather than later.  Sometimes we put the same pressure on ourselves when we note a measure of time passed; a month on a calendar, a birthday, the start of a new year.  In addition to acknowledging the day, we can't help but think about what we feel we still need to do, and what we want to do, in the future...deadlines at work, things to tend to at home, family time, and leisure activities we have in mind.

It takes planning to juggle all that we do.  We make lists to help us organize and remember what we wish to accomplish.  But we find ourselves so consumed with observing deadlines and planning our lives that we succumb to vices to cope and lose sight of that which is truly important to us, what we wish to accomplish in the bigger picture.  Most of us have a bigger picture, a bigger picture that is blocked by a smokescreen of everyday tasks.  Most of us can think of some way to improve our lives and put an end to the smokescreen.  How many let the pressures of time keep us from being healthier, eating in excess or eating that which we should not eat? We make special effort to lose pounds and exercise more before seeing a doctor.  We brush and floss more before seeing a dentist.  We overcompensate for our failings.  In the coming year, will our bad habits remain the same, or will we change, for good?

Food is a vice for many, but others are fixated on alcohol, drugs, gambling, and pornography.  Will our addictions continue to control us, or will we regain control of that which has led us astray?   Selichot is a time for forgiveness.  The very word Selichot means partdons. Hebrew sometimes uses the same word for different intensities of expression,  Ahavah means love, but it also means like.  Ani ohev zeh - I like this or Ani ohev otach - I love you.  So it is with the Hebrew word selicha.  We say selicha and mean "pardon me", as when we stop someone to ask for directions.  But selicha also means "pardon me", as we ask someone forforgiveness, or ask Hashem for forgiveness.  Will our asking for forgiveness really make a difference? It always does, if we are sincere.  When we ask for forgiveness there is a change in our hearts and our minds.  We no longer dwell on the negative energy which preceded our asking.  And when we forgive, there is also a lightening of the heart and mind.

We can vow tonight to make changes in our lives, for good.  We know how to accompish this, but we must stop the proscratination.  As the lyrics state:  "The time for hestitation's through.  There's no time to wallow in the mire".  Taking definitive action to improve ourselves will provide us with the time we need to make the bigger pictures happen.  And what are those bigger pictures?  This is truly the question for reflection tonight.

Some of you here may have no bigger picture; you live life to your fullest, exactly as you want to.  You take delight in family and friends, and take the time to enjoy whatever else may give you pleasure.  For you, take this time to reflect on all of your blessings and thank G-d for all you have received.  As for the rest of us, what is missing in our lives?  What unfulfilled goals do we wish to attain?  Have we thought much about it?  Well, let's think about it now.  Let us put those deadlines and pressures aside.  Let us clear our minds of the minutia and bad habits that occupy so much of our brain and weigh us down.  This sanctuary, this serene and sacred safe haven that protects us from the weather and provides great comfort, is an ideal place to relax and reflect on our bigger pictures, to think about a part of our life that we look forward to living, a part of our life that we believe G-d also wants us to live.  Let us see ourselves achieving the goals.  Envision some of the steps along the journey  Relish for these moments the reward of having reached our goals.  Let us envision, and ask for G-d's guidance and strength to help make it happen.  Let us pray.

Now let us take one more moment for reflection.  Who would we like to share in this joy?  Let us remember our loved ones, those who hold a special place in our hearts; those in the living world and those who have everlasting life, whose soul and spirit are always with us.  Take this time to thank G-d for them, our cherished ones who have helped us become who we are today, and envision them sharing in our proud and joyous moments yet to come.

Dear G-d, thank you for all of your bountiful blessings, for all of the goodness you ahve bestowed upon us.  Thank you for Your continued mecy upon us.  We realize we have shortcomings, we realize that we do not always do your will, so please help us in this coming year to find our way back to you  Help us dear Lord, for good.

And let us say Amen