12/28 – “Make The Most of Today”

I’m returning to daily blogging about my daily devotional, something I started on a separate site over a year ago. Recently I decided to return to the habit. Partly for accountability, and partly to meet my goal of writing once a day. I use a varying amount of devotional books (see the list here) but for the remainder of 2020 I’ll be using “The Bard and The Bible”.

Today’s Shakespeare is from Sonnet 60, line 1, and The Bible is from Job 7:6

“Like as the waves make towards the pebbl’d shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;”

Sonnet 60, Line 1-2

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle.”

Job 7:6, NIV

We’re headed into 2021, and there are plenty of folks who are saying 2021 is going to be better, and that a new president will make it better, and it’ll be a New Year, and more. Our pastor preached this last Sunday on this, and made no bones about saying, “Just because it’s new numbers doesn’t mean it’s going to change the day to day!”. He’s right. The world’s troubles, trials, and tribulations won’t suddenly be cleansed from the earth. They will remain and continue. Thinking it’s going to be better since the numbers in the calendar moved forward is a bit foolhardy – placing hope in such a thing isn’t going to net the results expected. Disappointment will be the result, and we’ll be just as cranky, angry, frustrated, and upset that things aren’t getting better in the new year.

What we can do is make the most of the coming day as this entry suggests. It draws an image comparison in the sonnet with the waves, and how they are formed, and move towards the shore where they eventually kiss or crash to shore – and it is gone. Other waves fly forward to fill the void, and it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived. “Our minutes hasten to their end” like the waves that lap upon the sandy shore. In Job, we have to first figure out what in the heck is a “weaver’s shuttle”. Below you can see what it is.

In the entry it talks about how the shuttle in, “an experienced weaver’s hands fly[s] back and forth in a blur of motion”, and the idea is the same with our, “days come[ing] and go[ing]. They froth and foam. They blur past us”, and suddenly it’s the end of the year and we’re contemplating the next 365 days on planet Earth. The entry goes on to suggest you can’t predict what lies ahead of you in the long game of life, yet you can, “make the most of today”, which is a variation on Carpe Diem or “Seize the Day”.

Part of this post series is to reflect on what, if anything, from the devotionals can I take to apply to my classroom? For today’s post, I’m reflecting on the stress, anxiety, responsibilities, social pressures, social media, and just generally growing up as a teenager in this modern age that our students face. Everything is coming at them at bullet train speeds and they’re nowhere near trained or developed enough to handle this on their own. I think the part(s) I’ll take away from this is helping my students to see how important and helpful it is to focus on making the most of the day they have in front of them. That taking time away from the screens might help decrease that social and societal pressure. That finding ways to soak in the day, and their value and place in it. They they matter, and have value. That they are valued by the people in their lives, including myself as their teacher. That they can make the most of the day through everything they do, and control.

In “The Bard and The Bible”, there’s always a question at the end. Today’s question is, “How can you make the most of the coming day?”, and I think it’s a powerful question to ask ourselves at two points – as we lay our heads down at night and as we rise in the morning to take on the day. That we can find our inner strength, our inner courage, our inner power – and seize the day.

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