Dylan’s Saturday Surprise

“Dylan’s Saturday Surprise,” Friend, June 2012, 30–31

Dylan’s Saturday Surprise

We all have work; let no one shirk. Put your shoulder to the wheel (Hymns, no. 252).

Will Dylan change his attitude about cleaning the church?

“Dylan! Time to get up!” Mom said. “We’re going over to church.”

Dylan opened one eye. “Mom, it’s Saturday,” he said sleepily. “We don’t go to church until tomorrow.”

Mom laughed. “Don’t you remember? We’re going to help clean the chapel today.”

Dylan groaned. After a long week at school, he looked forward to sleeping in and doing fun activities on Saturday.

“This is a great way to serve the Lord,” Mom said. “You might actually like cleaning after today.”

“I might have to get up early and clean today,” Dylan thought, “but I don’t have to like it.”

When they got to the church building, Dylan saw some ward members gathered around the custodial closet. They were all adults. “Maybe I’m too young to do most of this stuff,” he thought.

Just then Brother Palmer spotted Dylan and handed him some disposable rags and a bottle of disinfectant cleaner. “You can clean the sinks and empty the trash in the men’s restroom,” he said.

“Can this day get any worse?” Dylan thought.

Dad smiled at Dylan. “Dylan and I will be a team,” Dad said. “We’ll clean the restroom and the windows on the south end.”

Dylan followed Dad into the men’s restroom. “I could be eating a doughnut for breakfast right now,” he thought.

Dad started whistling as he began scrubbing the first sink. Dylan recognized the hymn:

Put your shoulder to the wheel; push along.

Do your duty with a heart full of song.

(Hymns, no. 252)

“Dad sure seems happy,” Dylan thought as he picked up a rag. As they worked, Dylan and Dad talked about a baseball game they planned to go to that night. Dylan began to feel less tired. Soon Dad said, “We’re all done in here! Let’s start on the windows now.”

Out in the hallway, everyone was busy vacuuming and wiping. Staci from Dylan’s Primary class was cleaning a window.

“This is fun!” she said. “It’s not every day you get to help take care of the Lord’s house.”

Dylan paused. “The Lord’s house,” he thought. Outside the sun was shining in a bright blue sky. “Cleaning isn’t so bad if it helps keep the Lord’s house beautiful on the inside, just like His world is on the outside.”

Dylan went to work seeing how clean he could get the windows.

Mom tapped him on the shoulder. “Good work, bud!” she said. “Those windows really shine!”

“I think we’re all done,” Dad said. “Let’s put the supplies back in the closet.”

On the way out, Dylan stopped by a picture of Jesus in the foyer. As he looked at the Savior’s loving face, it felt good to know that in a small way he had helped Him today.

“Would you like a doughnut when we get home?” Mom asked.

“Sure!” Dylan said. “This was a good way to spend Saturday morning after all,” he thought happily.

Illustration by Greg Newbold