Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reflections concerning Groundhog Day

As a youngster, I used to receive a good deal of razzing from my fellow classmates about being born on Groundhog Day, February 2nd. That, of course, was long before Bill Murray starred in the movie about a TV weatherman covering the annual forecast of the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania. The weather forecaster becomes mysteriously mired in a cycle in which his life activities are repeated identically each day. Murray’s character ingeniously devises some elaborate schemes to exploit the situation, since he knows exactly what to expect at every minute of the day from the time his alarm clock first sounds in the morning.

Perhaps for some people, such an absolute sense of utter predictability would symbolize comfort. Knowing exactly what was going to transpire every day might seem to offer reassurance and stability. I strongly suspect though that for most of us the invariable sameness of each new day would rapidly become maddeningly frustrating. It would also undercut any sense of excitement and anticipation about the new adventures that each day holds, given that none of us has a crystal ball that accurately predicts the future.

I’m grateful that God allows us the privilege of awakening each day to a clean slate of opportunities and possibilities to love Him and to love others. Rather than living in some kind of a rigidly controlled environment, He affords us the chance to fully experience life with all of its complexities and risks. That being the case, we really do have to learn to walk by faith and not by sight, trusting God for the strength and wisdom to live each day to its fullest.

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