Like clay in the hands of a potter
What the Rav said:
Everything that happens to a person in like pottery clay. So long as the clay stays wet, you can make whatever shape you want out of it. Even if you make a crooked shape, so long as it stays wet, you can change it and straighten it out, and fix it up into a good shape.
So too with man. Whatever you did, you messed up, you broke it… but when you say, “Hashem forgive me! I regret what I’ve done!”, it turns out ok and turns around for the good.
This is the teshuva that a person makes immediately, on the spot. All teshuva which a person makes on the spot, immediately turns everything around.
Messing up and then making teshuva is not a new idea, but here the Rav brings an important chiddush.
If we’re able to make teshuva immediately, on the spot, then it is very powerful and turns everything around.
This, I think, is the clay in the hands of the potter – while its still wet.
At that point, while the sin is still fresh, its easy to fix it, and then everything can turn out well. However, if we leave it, if we don’t try to fix it immediately, the sin ‘dries up’ and its much harder to fix it later.
So, our take-away point is to try to do teshuva immediately, for the best results!