Simon paraded himself before the bedroom mirror. His mother cast an admiring eye upon him and he felt proud of himself in his brand new suit.
“Hurry up, Simon,” she called as she hurried back to the kitchen. “You’ll be late for Sunday School!”
Simon grabbed his torn black Bible from the book shelf, kissed his mother, and raced out toward the gate. He wouldn’t be late this morning with his new suit to show off. He would pass boys and girls going to Sunday School, and he would let them all notice.
First Sunday of a brand new year, he had a brand new suit. How clever to have gotten a lovely new suit for Christmas. Those fellows would wish they had such a shiny, new suit, and he’d watch the way they looked at him. They might say something like, “Wish I had that!” Then, he’s really show off.
He turned the bend, and came upon Jimmy Green, tagging his little sister along by the hand. Jimmy didn’t have a new suit on, and his shirt was not sparkling clean.
“Hi, Jimmy!” Simon called brightly. “Your collar’s all ruffled and untidy!”
“Yeah” replied Jimmy unmoved.
“Look at my new suit!”
“Hey, Simon!” Jimmy grunted. “Know your text?”
“Not yet, but....” Simon twiddled his fingers, “See you!” Jimmy’s question bothered him. Anyway, he’d study that when he reached.
At the end of the road Teddy Banks kicked a stone absentmindedly, as he chanted a Bible verse.
“Pride cometh before a…”
Simon ran behind him, and blindfolded him with his hands.
Simon let go, and stood before him full view. “What’d you get for Christmas?”
“Nothin’ much,” Teddy shrugged his shoulders. “Pride cometh before destruction and a…” Teddy began to chant.
“Look!” Simon yelled.
Teddy stopped and looked Simon over head to toe. “You got a new suit, Simon, so what?”
“So what?” Simon threw up his hands. “You’re jealous!” he turned hotly on his heals, and left Teddy repeating his Bible verse.
Sunday School was in view. No sense going so early! Perhaps, if he walked in later, everyone would notice. He’d waste a little time outside first. “I’ll run down to Henri’s house.” So, he did.
Henri the naughty boy of his Sunday School class, had fought with almost everybody in his class except Simon. He was always untidy looking. He found Henri dragging an old toy cart all over his front yard with his three year old brother in it.
“Look!” Simon shouted over the fence.
Henri halted the cart, and his little brother tumbled out on one side screaming. Henri smiled wickedly at Simon.
“Come ‘ere!” he said.
While Simon stepped through the iron gate, Henri stooped down, and dipped his hand in a large basin against the side of the fence.
“Now I gotcha,” he shouted, and rushing at Simon, began splashing mud in the air over Simon, SPLASH...SPLASH...SPLASH!!!
Simon turned back for the gate, but it was too late.
“Ha, ha, ha!!!” laughed Henri.
Then, Henri ran away and hid himself.
Simon felt the hot tears streaming down his cheek. He couldn’t go to Sunday School now. He began to run down the road.
He deserved it, he deserved it, he knew he did. Why was he such a show-off? He was a Christian, yes. But he knew he was a show-off. He could almost guess the end of the Bible verse for that Sunday...SHAME or DESTRUCTION, or something like that!
He ran all the way home crying, as he passed his little friends on the way. Some laughed. When he ran passed the Sunday School gate, some pointed at him. He felt so ashamed.
He ran right into his mother’s arms, who had heard him crying from the gate, and he told her everything.
When he looked up the Bible text it said: “Pride cometh before destruction and a haughty spirit before a downfall.”
Oh, he’d have to tell Jesus about that spirit of showing-off that he had. The Lord would forgive him, and he’d feel clean all over once again.