" "Now is the hour."
In the days when the Romans ruled the world, they would always make conquered nations pay large sums of tribute. This tribute was in the form of money or produce. King Antiochus was king of Syria, which was one of the nations that the Romans had conquered. Thinking that perhaps nothing would be done about it, he neglected one year to send his tribute to Rome. Caesar, the emperor of Rome, however, at once sent one of his most important statesmen, Marcellus, to Antiochus to demand an answer, Antiochus met Marcellus outside the walls of the capital city and Marcellus made his demands, "Pay the tribute or be destroyed." Antiochus replied, "I'll think it over and let you know my answer in a day or so." Marcellus knew that he was the ambassador from the greatest power on earth and knew that his emperor, Caesar, would allow no delay. He took his sword and drew a circle in the sand around Antiochus and said to him, "Give me your answer before you leave that circle or else the legions of Rome will be thundering at your gates."
Many children waste time because they are not able to make decisions. Some girls will stand in front of the mirror for an hour trying to decide whether to whether to wear a blue or a read hair ribbon. There are boys who spend hours making up their minds on whether to do their homework or to do just nothing. They usually end up doing nothing. Some children make themselves miserable by spending too much time examining their consciences before they go to Confession, trying to decide whether something was a sin or not. Some children waste the whole of Lent trying to decide what they will do for Lenten penance; and on Holy Saturday they have done nothing.
The secret of successful people is that they have built up within themselves the power to make decisions with out delay. It is a grand thing for children to learn to do this when they are young and to develop this power as they grow older. The time will come when you will have to make important decisions in big things, and if you have not practiced in little things you will not be able to make them. So just for practice, next time you have a decision to make, draw a circle around yourself in your mind's eye and say, "I will give my answer before I leave this circle."