Groundhog Day

Scott DowningCulture, Death, LifeLeave a Comment

This past weekend was Groundhog Day, the fateful day when, if it’s sunny outside and Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, then obviously, six more weeks of Winter await, but, if it’s cloudy and he doesn’t, Spring is coming early. I never have understood that logic, but oh well. In our family we have a tradition of watching the movie Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day, go figure. This year, however, Groundhog Day coincided with the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl won television privileges, so no Groundhog Day this year for the first time I can remember, though there was a Bill Murray, Groundhog Day commercial, so that kinda counts. Anyways, despite not watching the movie, I was thinking about it. If you haven’t seen it, the basic plot is that there is this guy who is stuck reliving the same day over and over and over again. 

That movie, along with a recent death in our family, got me thinking about life, what we do with it, what we hope to get out of it, what sort of an impact we make, what legacy we leave (which I’ll write a bit more about later). 

Some people have mere minutes on this planet, others have nearly a century or more, but for all of us, life is fleeting and short. My son summed it up when talking about his great grandfather, who passed away this past weekend. He said, “I wish he could live just one more year, but then at the end of that year I would wish for one more year, and then at the end of that year I would wish for one more year, and I would always wish for just one more year.” Life is so insanely precious. We cherish every second of it, once it’s gone, and always wish we had, just a little more. No matter how much time we have with our loved ones here on Earth, we always wish for just one more… (minute, hour, day, week, month, year).

However, no matter how much we would like to, we can’t add more time. God says that our days are appointed for us. In Psalm 139, David writes “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” and in James it states, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” This is where Groundhog Day comes in. We have a tendency to cherish every second of life, after it’s gone and over, yet we have a tendency to take it for granted and squander it while we, and those we love are still here and living. So, I wonder, if you had one day to live over and over and over again, what would it look like? Or to put it another way, if you had only one day to live, what would you do with it?

This doesn’t have to be a specific day that you have lived, but a construction of all that you love and hold dear. Who would you spend that day with? Would you be with your family, hanging out with friends, by yourself, experiencing something with total strangers, serving people you’ve never met? What would you do? Would you stay home, read a book, play with your kids, pet your dog, cook a meal, garden or go out somewhere, go to a museum, spend the day in the mountains or on the water, hike, play a ball game, go shopping, watch a movie or a play, attend a concert? Would you travel? Let’s assume that you don’t have to actually spend the day travelling and could just be somewhere, another state, another country, a monument, wherever? What would you say? What message would you want to make sure that people heard? Would you offer advice? Would you try to right some wrongs? Would you make sure that everyone knew exactly what was on your mind, whatever that may be? What role would God play in this day? In your single, perfect day, would you pray, would you spend some time reading His Story, His love letter to you, would you sing His praise, would you bask in awe of His glory? 

When we stop to realize how fleeting life here is, whether it is measured in minutes or decades, it makes us cherish it all the more. So, I challenge you to not take it for granted, drink it in, and make the most of every single day, as if it were the only one you had. Live every day to the full abundance of life that Jesus has promised us, and hold to the hope that even after life here is over, for those in Christ, life continues eternally in perfect union with Him.

— Scott

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