We’re still working on learning our days of the week in kindergarten, and the concept of yesterday has been particularly difficult for some of my kiddos to master. Counting backwards has its challenges as well, but it’s a step more difficult with days of the week.
Today, in an effort to help them answer the question, “What day of the week was yesterday?” I tried to bring to mind yesterday’s lesson, when we had done this exact thing.
This tactic might have permanently confused the poor children.
One sweet boy raised his hand at the end of my monologue about days of the week and yesterday and today and tomorrow and said, “Yesterday was Friday?”
I tried to salvage it. “No, not Friday. Remember yesterday? We sat right here on this rug. It wasn’t so cold outside but it was raining. We sang the days of the week song and we said, ‘Today is……..’ What did we say?”
“Today is Tuesday.”
“No, sweetie, yesterday, when we talked, what was today?”
“Today is Tuesday?”
“You’re right, today is Tuesday. But yesterday, when we said today, we weren’t talking about Tuesday. What day of the week did we talk about yesterday?”
“It is today every day?”
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that question meant. I’m not sure if he thought it was always and forever going to be Tuesday, but I like to think he grasped the abstract concept that we are always, inescapably in the present.
I’ve written before about the profound concept of manna, the heavenly mystery that fed and nourished and could not be stored up.
And yet, I try to store up manna for myself. If one day I find the heavenly mystery compelling and full of Grace and Wonder, I want to save it for the next day when I will not have time to look so hard.
It does not feel like there is enough for each day. It feels like there are many days when I have gone hungry, and there are few days when I have had plenty.
It feels like I should hoard whatever I might receive from God, each revelation or blessing or whisper.
There have been seasons where I have searched for manna and found only enough to barely sustain me. I fear that God will soon be distant again, or that the next time I have to search for him I will find that he has never been there. I fear that the next famine will show that I have been feasting on dust this whole time.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” (Psalm 95:7-8)
Perhaps tomorrow I will not hear his voice. This is the constant anxiety, the driving force behind my striving. And, knowing my anxious heart, God has placed me always, inescapably in the present.
Today he has provided. It is all I can ever claim and all I will ever need.
My confused kindergartner had it right: It is today every day.
I can think of few greater displays of mercy.
Photo by Dafne Cholet, via flickr.