Maybe Monday


The students dragged into the classroom. Gloomy and sluggish, they were either tired from the weekend or weary of winter. One boy slouched in and threw his head down on the desk after his books in a particularly despondent attitude. He was done before the day had begun. As a substitute teacher for part of the week, I found the fourth graders’ lack of enthusiasm discouraging, even for a Monday. My father’s voice came back to me, “Poor tired Tim it’s sad for him.” He had employed the poem in a similar situation when I was a fourth grader in his classroom. Unfortunately for me, my memory could retrieve nothing beyond the opening line. A quick look into my Arbuthnot Anthology of Children’s Literature would have rendered the entire poem. The book was on my bookshelf… at home. Instead I launched into an energetic exhortation about what a ‘Marvelous Monday’ lay before us. By the time the school day began the majority had caught the enthusiasm being flung around the classroom. The resultant upbeat attitude inspired a ‘Marvelous Monday.’ When I left the students were debating about what kind of a day Tuesday would be. Most of them were thinking along the lines of ‘terrific’, while I searched for something a bit more unusual.

Monday evening I flipped through an issue of the Acts and Facts magazine. The last article caught my attention. I wished I had read it Sunday night. It was by Mr. Morris entitled “Perhaps Today.” The motto had hung  in his father’s office as a reminder of the unknown, but longed for, return of Christ. The motto reminded me of the things I hoped for as child. Maybe tomorrow we will have a snow day! Maybe tomorrow it will be Arbor Day! Maybe tomorrow. . . I progressed to all the ‘maybe todays’ of married life. Maybe today this baby will be born. Maybe today/tonight the baby will sleep all night. Maybe today the toddler will not have an accident. Maybe. . .

If I had read that article one day sooner I would have labeled the day ‘Maybe Monday.’ Though too late for Monday, I had Tuesday and Wednesday yet before me. Tuesday we entitled, ‘Triumphant Tuesday.’ The students triumphed over math, language and indoor recess. Together we discussed replacing ‘Marvelous Monday’ with ‘Maybe Monday.’ We wondered if the present day would be ‘The Triumphant Tuesday.’ It was not. ‘Wicked Wednesday’ in the slang sense of the word, was my plan for the following day. A snowstorm interrupted. The children’s ‘maybe today’ became fulfilled in a snow day. The regular teacher returned on Thursday.

Fourth graders do not have exclusive claim to winter weary days.  Years later, I continue to recall, ‘Maybe Monday’ and ‘Triumphant Tuesday.’ Often I put together other titles to raise my own flagging, dragging spirit, ‘Watchful Wednesday,’ ‘Thirsty Thursday,’ or ‘Thrilling Thursday.’ Someday, perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, whether a Friday or not, will come the ‘Final Friday.’ Until then, we watch, we pray, we wait, relying on the promise of Christ. “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3


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