Sunday, September 23, 2012

A son who serves

Our ward is gearing up for the annual Primary Program. For most wards this is a reasonable undertaking, but not for our ward: we have around 130 kids in our primary. Yep. One HUNDRED and THIRTY. The choir loft in our chapel has maybe 50 chairs total, so so that leaves us roughly 70 seats short. It is a logistical undertaking that is truly staggering considering that it's not just getting 130 people up on a space built for 1/3 that number, but about half of them are under 5 yrs old.  I don't think you could describe it adequately, but organized chaos comes pretty close.

The primary leaders and teachers all are wonderfully patient and skilled at getting the children to cooperate quickly and quietly, and they do it all with a love and patience that is plain to see. There are lots of others who pitch in to haul chairs to the chapel and set them up in the best way possible and the value of their service is not to be underestimated. Somehow the Primary and all those that help manage to pull it off, and very successfully at that, every year and it is truly amazing to see. However, the thing that touched my heart most today was my son Caleb. 

Caleb is technically still in Primary (having just turned 12, so he won't be completely out till January), so he still goes to class in Primary and then comes to Priesthood for the 3rd hour of church. As we started Priesthood I was looking around and didn't see him anywhere. I was a little concerned because usually he is so enthusiastic about coming, but seeing as he is essentially a teenager, I did not attribute the best of motives to him not being there. We managed to get through the entirety of opening exercises (about 10 or 15 minutes usually) and Caleb still hadn't shown up. I decided I was going to go look for him and thought that the first place to check would be the chapel where they were holding practice for the Primary program. Sure enough, there was Caleb. I had expected him to be joking with a  friend or just waiting around or some other type of laziness....I should have known better and should have had more faith in him. He was helping put away all of the chairs and cleaning up from the practice. A couple of men had also stayed behind to help put everything away, and there was Caleb, right in the thick of it. 

I recognized a good thing when I saw it and immediately complimented Caleb for being so good about helping. Then, Sister Elicio (the member of the Primary presidency who is in charge of the program) immediately stopped and turned to me and said, with a huge smile, "Caleb is always so helpful!" - you could tell she meant it and that she was really grateful that he was there to help. 

I could not have been more proud of my son.

So, being properly chagrined for having such low expectations to my son and being proven conclusively wrong, I followed HIS example. I immediately called out to all the brethren that I saw coming out of Priesthood opening exercises to come help with cleaning things up and we all tidied up the remainder quickly. 

Caleb, thank you for being such a good example of service, and thank you for being such a good young man who thinks of others first. 

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