A Dvar Torah from ATorahMinute that I read & really liked. Enjoy!
G-d commanded the prophet Yirmiyahu (Yirmiyahu 18:1-4) to go to a potter's house, where he observed the potter working with wet clay. Yirmiyahu reported that when the potter did not like the vessel which he created, for whatever reason, he was able to form another one from that same vessel -- one which pleased him.
The Ben Ish Chai z"l explains that there is a difference between a vessel made of clay, which was burnt in the kiln and one which was not burnt. While the first one, once broken cannot be repaired or fixed, the second one can be reconstructed to perfection even if it were broken into many pieces. A person who sins, is likened to the second one - the wet clay which can be reformed. Even if he performs the worst possible transgressions, once he regrets whole heartedly and repents, he will shine like dawn and blossom like a rose. Our merciful Father in Heaven, unlike a king made of flesh and blood, desires our Teshuva (repentance) and pleads with us to change, in spite of our sins and transgressions.
Teshuva is like a wide ocean, open to anyone at any given time. Chazal teach us that the gates of teshuva are forever open. However, during the time between the first of Elul and Yom Kippur G-d is even closer to us. We should not miss out on this special time and extraordinary gift that G-d has granted us. We must take advantage of it and draw ourselves closer to Him.
Let us set aside a few moments for self examination and introspection. What area would you choose to work on and improve? Perhaps smile more often or call a friend whose feelings you might have hurt. Make an effort to greet Shabbath in a timely fashion or learn to forgive and forget. The list is endless, the opportunity is waiting for us.
We have the power, just like the potter, to recreate a most exquisite piece of pottery. This piece of pottery is our own selves. We should refashion it till we have transformed it into an outstanding Jewish people!
I wish all of readers and Klal Yisrael a healthy, happy, and safe new year (5772). May we all be written in the book of life, and may we all grow closer to HaShem Yitbarach with each and every day of our lives. May we receive redemption on both personal and national levels. For all those who need a refua shlemah - may you be fully healthy this year! For all who need parnassah - may you have the amount of money that you need and are able to use for positive beneficial purposes! For all who need children - may you have healthy, holy, happy children who will always be in on the right derech. For all the singles who want to find their zivugim - may you date, get engaged, and get married to your best possible zivug. May we all be zoche to see Mashiach and Yerushalayim rebuilt in our times speedily in a peaceful way! Shana tova u'metukah! :)