Today's Scripture Reading (September 20, 2020): Esther 5
Self-help author, Stephen Richards, in “The Secret of Getting Started: Strategies to Triumph over Procrastination” teaches that “habitual procrastinators will readily testify to all the lost opportunities, missed deadlines, failed relationships and even monetary losses incurred just because of one nasty habit of putting things off until it is often too late.” There is no doubt that delay is often costly. Procrastination is often the main reason that contributes to failure because we end up not even trying. And, the reality is that it is usually better to act quickly, even if it is not the absolute correct action to take; because perfection that comes too late is always wrong.
However, not all delay is procrastination. There is some debate over Esther’s reason to delay her accusation against Haman. Instead of coming into the presence of the King and laying the charge against Haman immediately while alone in his company, Esther appears to procrastinate, delaying the accusation until the time when a banquet could be prepared. For some scholars, this is evidence of Esther’s nervousness, and the banquet represents a delaying tactic, postponing the action she knew she had to take until a later time.
An alternative understanding is that Esther was unwilling to bring the accusation before the King without the one accused standing in the room. It appears that it would have been much more comfortable to accuse Haman during a private meeting with the King than to do so before Haman and many other witnesses at a state dinner. The latter seems to be a much more intimidating task.
But Esther accusing Haman while both were in the room with the King was also the right thing to do. In our culture, we believe that the accused has a right to confront his or her accuser. Esther makes that possible. Instead of taking the easy path and bringing her complaint against Haman in private, she devises a plan where both the King and the man that she was about to accuse could be brought into the same room before the accusation is made. There is no doubt that Esther was nervous about what she had to do. But Esther also had a plan, and she was willing to wait to make sure it was correctly executed.
Because sometimes, a delay is procrastination, but sometimes delay is part of a well thought through plan and part of making the most of the actions we are about to take.
Tomorrow's Scripture Reading: Esther 6