Hashem G-d formed the man of dust from the ground... (Genesis 2:7)
The Alter of Kelm cites a famous Midrash which states that Hashem 'tried' to make another Adam on Day Six of Creation, but He didn’t finish because He ‘ran out of time’ before Shabbat. And what became of G-d's incomplete work? The Midrash says that the unfinished Adam eventually became the Sheydim (demons).
What is the meaning of this obscure Midrash?
The Alter said that you see from here that undertaking a task – even a holy one – but not completing it, can have disastrous consequences!
The Kotzker Rebbe makes a similar point on his commentary to Exodus 19:12, where the verse says, “Beware of ascending the mountain or touching its edge; whoever touches the mountain shall surely die.”
He explains that many times a person is inspired to undertake something great (ex. organizational, communal, in Torah study, etc). That person begins, but then falls very short of the goal.
Instead of feeling badly about it, he says, “Ah, I didn’t meet my goal, but you know what? It’s good enough. It’s more [fill in the name of the worthwhile activity] than we had before anyway!”
The Kotzker said that while this is true, this is a terrible and destructive attitude to have. His proof comes from the verse.
“Beware of ascending the mountain” (ie. beginning something great) and merely “touching its edge,” (ie. you accomplish only a fraction of it). It’s not OK, and it’s not good enough … for “Whoever touches the mountain shall surely die.” It’s almost like a form of spiritual death.
The bottom line point is -- don’t feel so comfortable about falling short!