Jonah Days

I love the old fashioned sayings nestled between the covers of my Anne of Green Gables books. My favorite, though, comes after Anne’s worst teaching day–complete with mice, disrespectful students, and firecrackers in the schoolhouse stove. Anne, overwrought and humiliated, says to Marilla, “Oh, this has been a Jonah day.”

I may not be the Anne-girl, but today was certainly a Jonah day–even down to the mouse. Today was the kind of day when I cried on the way home, walked into the apartment, and sank into a bubble bath. 

But now that I’m on the downhill side of this Jonah Day, I think about the expression and wonder. Jonah wasn’t an innocent bystander in his own tale, you know. He was a man on the run–he didn’t want to go to Ninevah.

Cut to the bit about the whale. 

I don’t know how healthy it is for me to wonder if this day could have been avoided, or to overanalyze the mistakes I certainly made. We could, as teachers, fill pages with “What Ifs.”

What if I hadn’t lost my temper? 

What if my classroom management plan had been different?

What if this isn’t the right job for me?

To be honest, some weeks I feel like I’m living life from the whale’s belly, swallowed up and sinking fast. 

But God didn’t leave Jonah in the ocean, so I choose to end my Jonah day clinging to the belief that he won’t abandon me to the great fish of middle school. 

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

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