There was a widow who was extremely destitute. She was a mother with many children and struggled even to put a few morsels of bread on the table.
One day, she came across a fresh egg and took it home. An egg was rare in her household.
Her children were so hungry and desperately wanted to eat the egg. With much pain, the mother said "my children, I love you with all my heart, and more than anything, I want to be able to feed you. However, this egg must not be touched. You see, in this egg, is the potential for us to never worry about food. A chick will hatch from this egg. That chick will grow up to be a hen and will lay many eggs. Those eggs will become chicks, and those chicks will become chickens. Once we have a bunch of chickens, we will sell most of them for two cows. Those cows will produce milk, and we will drink the milk and also sell milk. We will eat the chickens and their eggs, which will continue to yield more chickens.
So, you see, my beloved children, we must not touch this egg! It is our only hope."
Overwhelmed with her successful plan, the widow (just for one second!) weakened her grasp on the egg, and the egg fell on the floor and cracked.
What a sad day it was in her house.
This story, as heartbreaking as it is, is a mashal that is brought down in sefarim. This widow is so many of us. We make plans for the new year. This year, I'll be x, y, and z. This year, I'll have a, b, and c. This year, I'll do 1, 2, and 3.
But... the desire is not enough. We need to have a plan.
So we make a plan.
But a plan is just that - it's a plan. "Rabot machshavot b'lev esh..."
thoughts are not enough. We must GRASP our plan by actively living it from the moment that we think of it.
If one decides to keep Shabbat, then that's it. Start THIS Shabbat! Not NEXT Shabbat.
If one decides to start learning two halachot a day, then it's not tomorrow that one should start. Start today! Pick up a sefer now, register on dailyhalacha.com or torahminute.com and start receiving the halachot now!
If one decides to start dressing modestly, then don't wait until next month to start wearing x, y, or z. Start today!
I've heard the same thing about dieting. About exercise. About smoking.
The tomorrow diet is a dream that many people live - because it's exactly that: "tomorrow". Well, tomorrow's tomorrow is also tomorrow, so that's at least one day lost. And then the next, and then the next.
Carp Diem - seize the day! Chazal teach us to do tshuva every day because we never know when our last day is.
As soon as we feel inspiration, we must grasp it and right away use it, or else we risk that it will just slip through our fingers.
This is not a dvar Torah that sits well right away because our yetzer hara wants us to be lazy. To be "chilled". To be laid back. But no. Many tzadikim have shivered at the phrase "kill time."
A Jew doesn't waste time. A Jew needs to utilize every moment to grow closer to His Creator. What can I do today to get closer to HaShem? What can I do today to improve myself?
Because we can only do mitzvoth in this world. In the next world, it's too late. There're no mitzvoth. There's only schar for what we did HERE in this world.
I know that's something that I definitely need to work on during these days of teshuva before Yom Kippur, and in general. Procrastination seems to be the yetzer hara's best friend, but how many times have I procrastinated 1 min then 5 min then 1 hour until I'm late or until I missed the opportunity to do something good?
BH may we all be zoche to make the most of our time and constantly grow closer to HaShem Yitbarach and to do our Avodat HaShem b'simcha!
Shana Tova to all :)