Has it ever happened that you are trying to do a mitzvah, and then all kinds of things get in your way? Do you wonder to yourself “Why is Hashem making it so difficult – I am trying to do a MITZVAH!” Or perhaps you are thinking that it is the yetzer hara trying to stop you from doing the mitzvah.

The Chasam Sofer offers a third possibility: We tend to forget that in Yiddishkeit success is not judged by the completion of a mission but rather by the person’s devotion and involvement in the mission. Therefore, when we try to do mitzvos, Hashem sometimes does us a favor and puts distractions, annoyances and detours in our way in order for it to take longer or to make it more cumbersome. He mentions that it took Avraham 3 days just to find Har Hamoriah! But, there is an exception to this, in which Hashem will let the mitzvah come to the tzaddik easily. That is if all these disturbances would bring about bitul Torah. Since learning Torah is greater than performing mitzvahs, Hashem will let the mitzvah be done quickly in order that the person should be able to return to his Torah learning.

Yitzchak wondered how it was that Yaakov (in the guise of Esav) prepared the food so quickly. Why didn’t Hashem make him have to work for the mitzvah? This is what Yitzchak expounded: “Hakol kol yaakov, hayadim shel esav” which Chazal tell us means, that when one is learning in the beis medrash it is not necessary to have the yaadamin shel esav – meaning the extra involvement in mitzvahs.

If you feel frazzled when trying to accomplish things that you consider a mitzvah, it seems that the Chasam Sofer would advise you to make yourself an extra seder – go to the beis medrash and learn. Your days will be much more fulfilled, because the time spent agonizing over the mitzvah will be used instead for learning, and the mitzvah will go quickly and easily.