I wrote yesterday about the movie Groundhog Day, how I’d forgotten how much I’d loved the movie about egocentric Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Connors, who goes on location to Punxutawney, PA, for their annual Groundhog Day celebration. Here are a couple other things I was thinking about.
1. Phil Connors essentially received a mulligan for every encounter. Could you imagine having the ability to undo a mistake? Cruel words could really be un-said. Receiving someone’s forgiveness means they’ve really forgotten about it—because it never actually happened.
Or you could take risks, knowing you always had another shot. Like when I was a kid in junior high and never said the funny thing out loud that some other kid ended up saying, even if I’d thought of it first and would have delivered it better.
I think of music and how I might practice a line over and over and over, and then I tank it onstage. In live performance, just as in life, there are no second takes. But if there were, wouldn’t that make me braver? Wouldn’t I try again? Instead of editing life before I live it, I would live courageously. (I could even learn to ice sculpt like Connors.)
2. Phil Connors changed from being a manipulator to a servant. At first, he used his ability to relive each day to his advantage, whether it was trying to bed a vulnerable woman or stealing bags of cash from a Barney Fife-type, armored truck guard. But then something in him changed. He started helping people, like the homeless man who one day dies, though on another is aided by Connors to the hospital. There’s also the boy who falls out of a tree and “never once thanks” Connors for catching him.
What if we stopped looking at how we can change our circumstances to best serve us and instead looked at how we can serve others in the circumstances we find ourselves in? What if life for a believer in Jesus is really like Groundhog Day, where each new day brings fresh opportunities to serve others? Instead of thinking of what I can get out of the day, I’d start to consider how I can give today.
What if the sun that rises this morning is like God’s gentle alarm at 5:59 that says, “Wake up, sleepyhead. Come to work with me today. I’ll show you things you didn’t think possible.”
Sort of like how Cindy keeps telling me it’s take-your-son-to-work day, though if I did, I’d likely get nothing done. Except with God as father, his take-your-son/daughter-to-work-day means we get to help in more significant ways than just holding the flashlight.
What is possible today? The same-ol’ same-ol’? Or could there be something more?
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” —1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT