Clean, Wise and Strong
A Cloth, A Watch, A Spring—An Object Lesson on Sabbath-Observance
Bring before the children the three objects mentioned in the title. Show them first a pure, clean handkerchief, and then one terribly soiled. How can the last be made like the first? And if I use the clean handkerchief right along, day after day, with no washing, it will soon become as bad as the dirty one? Yes. Show the children how their souls need wash-days, too, though they should be kept as clean as possible all the time. Sunday is that washday, to make them fresh and pure again.
Show next your watch, and ask how long it will run without getting out of order. And if we carry it after it has got out of order, what happens? Everything goes wrong. We miss engagements. We are too late, or too early, everywhere. What is to be done? We must leave it with the jeweler, and he will regulate it. Now have you ever heard of people who need regulating? Indeed, don’t we all get out of order continually, so that everything goes wrong with us? Show the children how Sunday is a day set apart for regulating, and getting the machinery of life to running smoothly and truly.
Finally, show the children a coiled spring. Put a weight on top of it, and then lift it off. The spring flies back, just as before. What if I should keep the weight on the spring for a year, or ten years? Would the spring fly back then, if the weight were removed? No; all its elasticity would be gone. Show the children how constant work is like a weight upon us, and how Sunday removes the weight, so that we recover our elasticity.
Here, ranged in order on the table, are three little preachers, telling us what Sunday is for. It is to make us clean, says the cloth; and wise, says the watch; and strong, says the spring.
Wells, A. R. (2005; 2005). Three Years With the Children (278). Pleasant Places Press.