Key Verse

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
— Psalm 40:8

Gift to God

2 Samuel 24:17-25; Romans 12:1-2

Would Leila honor her commitment?

“To the beach? Oh, I’d love to go! I haven’t been to the beach for ages.” Leila’s face lit up with eager anticipation. “Who’s going?”

Sydney turned to Fisher, “Is it just you and Autumn besides your dad, or is your mom going too?”

Fisher kicked a pebble and sent it spinning as he replied, “No, Mom already had her Saturday planned. But Dad says it’s okay if four or five others go. He just said we kids will have to fix the lunch. He promises to treat on the way home.”

“Can we ask Shyla and Kyle Witham to go?” Leila looked questioningly at her friends. “They’re those new kids in Sunday school, and it would help them get acquainted.”

The three friends walked along, rapidly filling in the details of the planned outing—who else might go, and who would bring what for lunch.

They paused at Leila’s house and called out greetings to her mother who was working in the flower beds. She smiled back at the happy trio. “What are you all so excited about? I could hear you coming a block away!”

“Oh, Mom . . . Fisher’s dad is going to take some of us kids to the beach Saturday. Isn’t that awesome? We’re making all the plans.” Leila’s eyes danced. “Sydney, I’ll text you sometime tonight with that cookie recipe. See ya!” She waved goodbye and walked into the house with her mother.

A little furrow creased Mrs. Wallace’s brow. “Leila, aren’t you forgetting something? Isn’t Saturday the first workday your Sunday school class planned?”

“Oh, Mom,” wailed Leila. “I completely forgot! Of course it is. But the beach trip will be so much fun . . . and I really want to go! What shall I do?”

“That is really something you’re going to have to decide for yourself.”

Leila sighed. “Well, it isn’t as though there won’t be other workdays, but I don’t know when I’ll get another chance to go to the beach. Anyway, Mom, we are going to ask a couple of new kids to go. Giving them a chance to get acquainted with some of the Sunday school kids is a good idea, don’t you think?”

Still Leila wasn’t quite satisfied. Upstairs in her room after dinner, she struggled to make up her mind. She considered one reason after another why she should go, but each time, into her mind would come the decision the class had already made. The kids themselves had suggested how they could help some of the older people in the church with their housecleaning and yard work. The class had been discussing Christian service and how important it was to put the needs of others before themselves. How excited they had been when someone suggested the class workdays, something they could do together. No . . . she couldn’t back out on the very first workday! I’d better call Sydney, she thought, and went downstairs to get her phone.

“Hello, Sydney.” Without any preliminaries Leila came right to the point. “You know this afternoon when we were making plans for the beach trip, I forgot something.”

“What?” Sydney questioned.

“Saturday is the first workday for our Sunday school class. Remember, I told you we wanted to help some older people who can’t get around very well? We’re all going over to the Pierson’s in the morning and the Judd’s in the afternoon to help them with the house and yard work.”

“Oh, but Leila,” cried Sydney, “you can’t miss this beach trip! Hey . . . I’ve got a good idea. Why don’t you ask your brother to take your place this time since you’ve helped him with his homework and cleaning his room a lot of times? Then you could go.”

“I thought of that too, but when we were making plans for the class workdays our teacher told us it would be a good lesson in commitment. Remember when we had the lesson on that? She warned us that three or four workdays would take a lot of planning and work. It would also cut into time we might want for other things. But the whole class agreed we would do it.

After a little pause, Leila continued. “Mom left the decision up to me, and I’ve thought a lot about it; I just can’t go to the beach this time. Anyway, I’ll still give you the cookie recipe. Okay?”

Sydney sighed. “Well, okay. And I really do understand, but it won’t be as much fun if you don’t go.”

Later, just before going to bed, Leila opened her Bible to Sunday’s lesson, 2 Samuel 24. As she read the concluding verses and turned to the text in Romans 12:1 and 2, a little smile curved her lips. Her mind went to the decision she had made that evening and she felt so good. Like King David in the lesson, she too had given God something that was a personal sacrifice. Sometimes it is harder to give up our time or things we want to do than to give our money.

Leila knew down deep in her heart that she was going to follow through on the class workdays—each one. She would be there! It was with a feeling of satisfaction and contentment that Leila drifted off to sleep.