THE other day I heard a mother say to her little girl, "Come, Minnie, get mamma some wood for her baking, and right away, for I am in a hurry."  But Minnie kept on with her play as if she had heard nothing. "Come! Come!" said the hurried mother, "don't you hear?  “I want some wood." Still the little girl did not stir; and not until the mother had said, "Minnie, if you do not get that wood at once, I shall punish you," did the child make a move. Then she went along very sullenly, muttering and sniveling as she went. 

"Oh dear!" said the tired mother, "it's more work to get anything out of children than to do it yourself." And so it was all day—every time Minnie's mother asked her to do any little chore, there was just about such a scene. Minnie is a bright little girl, and can play on the organ, and do many things very nicely; but before night we were all tired out with her waiting and whining about everything she was told to do. 

Did any of you ever see Minnie?  If you haven't, I think most of you have seen some one very much like her. At any rate, whenever I see a boy or a girl start 'to do a thing at the first bidding, I look up surprised and pleased; but it isn't often I am made glad in that way. Now, children, don't you know that willing service is always best? When you ask any of your playmates for some little favor, are you not better pleased to have them do it for you at once than to sulk around half an hour, and then do or give it grudgingly?  And don't you think and sometimes say, 

"I wish you wouldn't do it at all, if you are going to act so!" 

And quite likely your parents feel in the same way when you are so unwilling to do what they ask of you; but they know you must be made to do it for your own sakes. 

Now this not "minding the first time" is a very bad habit for children to get, for many different reasons. In the first place, it makes both yourself and those around you unhappy; and at the same time makes you more disagreeable than you perhaps desire to be. Then such a habit formed while you are young will be quite likely to cling to you when you are older, and will cause much trouble all your life, by making you 'put off till the last minute things which should be done promptly. It is in this way that many losses and accidents come about every day. 

Then if you get into this way of putting off these little duties, which your parents expect of you, it will be quite natural for you to put off giving your hearts to Jesus, and doing the duties which he wants you to do. And if you are trying to serve him now, you must remember that it is in these little ways that you are to serve him, and you must know, too, that you cannot please the Saviour, while you are disobeying your parents. 

Now, children, how many of you have been in the habit of waiting a second or third bidding to 

do things?  Who can answer truly, "I have not"? 

But now, how many, from this time on, are going to try hard to mind the first time you are told? 

E. B.