The ability to make decisions is a key element to success. Procrastinating can result in the loss of a profitable opportunity. “One who hesitates loses” is a credo of many prosperous executives. They push their management personnel to make the moves that will keep the company moving forward. The managers in turn drive their people to do whatever it takes to overcome the current obstacle to success and move on to the next challenge.
Our Sages say that the word “now” in Scriptures indicates a call to repent. Their intent is to teach that once one realizes his or her error one should act immediately — now — to correct to faux pas. Delay will only cause one to rationalize and forget the feeling of guilt or shame that is a healthy alarm calling for teshubah.
On the other hand, one who is inspired to do good is often lazy to act. The evil inclination does not say, “Don’t do it” instead he encourages a small delay –“Do it later”. How many smokers are going to quit “tomorrow” and how many overweight individuals are going to start their new diet “after the weekend”. The same evil inclination pushes a person to fulfill a desire ASAP — if that desire is harmful to the spirit or contrary to a commandment of the Torah.
A wise person reverses the wiles of the evil inclination into spiritually successful behavior by reversing his instructions. When doing good the wise person acts with alacrity to do the will of G-d. When responding to a physical desire he or she delays gratification and considers the gain vs. loss of the temporary satisfaction. Success is easy to those who know when to stop and when to go. CONSIDER THIS FOR A MINUTE If what you are going to do is right – it is the will of G-d – so do it promptly.
Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Project Genesis, Inc.