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Justin woke up on Saturday morning. This was going to be a great day. All Justin wanted to do was play in his sandbox. He hopped out of bed and hurried to the kitchen for breakfast.
“Here you go, Justin.” Mom put pancakes on his plate, and Justin doused them with syrup.
“It looks like a beautiful day,” Dad commented as he finished the last bite of his pancake. “Guess I should get some work done in the yard,” he said as he went out the back door.
Justin’s mom was eating quickly so she could go to the store and get back in time to take Justin to the church for play practice. His Sunday school class was putting on a play, so they had to practice singing their songs and saying their lines.
“Justin,” Mom said, “I’m going to the store now, but I want you to be ready to go to play practice when I get back. Put on your blue shirt and don’t forget your costume.” Mom got up and grabbed her purse.
“But, Mom!” Justin yelled after her. “I was going to build a big triple-tower sandcastle!”
“No. Not now, Justin. Go get ready. I’ll be back in a little bit.” And out the door she went.
Justin was mad. “I wanted to build my triple tower,” he said to himself as he tromped up to his room. Justin changed his shirt and grabbed his costume out of the closet. He went downstairs, but his mom wasn’t back yet.
Justin thought, “I’m all ready like Mom said. Maybe Dad will let me build my sandcastle before she gets home!” Justin laid his costume down in the living room and went out the back door. “Dad, can I play in my sandbox?” he asked.
“Sure!” Dad replied as he put the mower away.
“Yay!” Justin jumped into the sandbox. He packed the sand into a bucket and tipped it over to make a tower. That was tower number one. He was working on tower number two when he heard his mom walk up behind him.
“Justin! What are you doing?”
Justin looked up at his mom. Uh oh! She didn’t look too happy.
“I told you to be ready to go to play practice,” she scolded.
“I did get ready, Mom,” Justin replied, “but you weren’t back yet, and Dad said I could play in the sandbox.”
“Dad said you could?” she asked with a puzzled frown.
“Uh huh,” Justin nodded.
“Well, we need to go. You’ll be late. Get out and brush the sand off your clothes.”
Justin climbed out of the sandbox. His mom swatted at the sand on his pants, and he tried to wipe it off his shirt as they hurried to the car. Justin felt bad. He knew his mom was upset.
When they got to the church, all the other kids were already in their costumes, lining up on the stage. Then Justin remembered—he left his costume at home. “Mom, I forgot my costume!”
Justin’s mom sighed a big, long sigh. “Well, I’m sorry, I can’t go back for it now. I told you to be ready. You’ll just have to practice without it today.” She kissed Justin’s cheek and headed back out to the car.
Justin couldn’t concentrate on play practice. The sand in his shoes squished around his toes, and he was the only one who wasn’t wearing a costume. He forgot what he was supposed to say and then he did the wrong motions to a song and bumped into another kid, making them both fall down. Oh, what a bad day this turned out to be!
On the way home, Mom asked, “How did it go?”
“Terrible,” Justin answered. “I kept messing up.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Mom replied. “When we get home, Dad and I need to talk with you.”
Oh boy! Now he was really going to get it—Mom and Dad both needed to talk to him. Justin wasn’t looking forward to that.
At home, Justin sat at the kitchen table with his parents. It was lunchtime, but they weren’t eating lunch.
“Justin,” Dad said, “when you asked me if you could play in the sandbox, you didn’t tell me that Mom already told you not to.”
“Well, I got ready to go like she said, but she wasn’t back yet,” Justin explained.
“But you were covered in sand, and you forgot your costume,” Mom pointed out. “And when one of us tells you ‘no’, it’s wrong for you to ask the other parent, hoping for ‘yes’.”
“I thought it would be all right,” Justin replied.
“Well, in a way, you lied to me,” said Dad. “It was like you were trying to trick me into thinking it was okay since you didn’t tell me that Mom already said no.”
“I’m sorry,” Justin apologized. Justin didn’t mean to be dishonest; he didn’t tell his dad the whole truth because he wanted so badly to build his sandcastle.
“We forgive you,” said his parents. Justin felt better and gave them each a hug.
“How about some lunch?” Mom asked.
“That sounds great!” Dad replied as he helped get lunch ready.
“Then can I go out and finish my triple-tower sandcastle?” asked Justin.
Justin’s mom and dad looked at each other. “Yes, you may!” they both said together.
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.