I’ve always liked Groundhog Day. I am sure a lot has to do with the movie. When I was 14 and 15 years old, I was beginning to develop a relationship with my new family. My dad got remarried quickly after the divorce, and I met Danny and David. They were my step mom’s nephews. I was barely starting high school and they were close to finishing it. Everything about them was cool. I was like a little dude following them around, soaking up everything they did. At that point Groundhog Day had come out and David and Danny loved it. And since I did whatever they thought was cool, I fell in love with this movie.
Groundhog Day--the movie in itself embraced an odd concept. It was a story where Bill Murray gets opportunity after opportunity to fix his arrogant and selfish ways. If you haven’t seen the movie, the time frame involves the same day being repeated over and over again. Bill’s character wakes up time and time again to the same day--a day he didn’t really like. Immediately he begins to be angry, and to continue his selfish and rude behavior to the people around him. But after that behavior gets him nowhere, he decides to care for people, believing that tomorrow they will not remember it. An unusual piece of wisdom: “Love those even though they will never remember it.”
This is odd because we tend to thrive in our sinful natures of doing what is good for us. We look for opportunities to make ourselves look good. We rely on the fact that what we did yesterday will be remembered. If we were to just Love 1, not expecting anything back, what would that look like? Honestly, I cared for David and Danny, but it was completely selfish; it was about learning how to be cool like them. Do I know where they are today? No, of course not. Was I annoying to them at some points? Yes, absolutely! Did I worry about their opinions? Yes, I was completely consumed with their opinions of me. This is the wisdom of the world. We function in this self-consumed nature that looks out and often Loves 1 based upon what we receive back.
Since 2000, the groundhog has seen his shadow every year but two. (Here’s hoping for an early spring!) And honestly, most times it has nothing to do with what really happens. It seems like a silly holiday, and it seems odd that we celebrate it. But maybe it is more like how God operates. Human wisdom becomes obsolete, but His way of leading His people is unique. He is more into the celebration of life and how He revives His people, as opposed to something we can get from groundhogs or people. Hear me out; in human logic the goal of Groundhog Day is to have less winter. But in the world of Christ all life and seasons are to be celebrated. It is the reason He would take such a cruel punishment to rescue us. Maybe the groundhog is onto something. It may be less about his prediction and more about the fact that the sun sometimes shows him his shadow on February 2nd and sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s neither here nor there. God has come to rescue us and give us life that is not dependent on animal or human predictions. That is against our human wisdom, and we thank the Lord, because all too often, we are driven by our selfish natures.