Happy Groundhog Day


My District Superintendent and friend, Doug holds my daughter just after her birth.
My District Superintendent and friend, Doug holds my daughter just after her birth.

Many years ago, my District Superintendent told us something that has stuck with me ever since.  He reported to a group of fellow ministers that one of his favorite holidays (and movies) is Groundhog Day.

I love Bill Murray and along side the cult favorite “What About Bob?”, his role in “Groundhog Day” is classic.  I own both movies and watch them whenever Anita isn’t in the house.  (She doesn’t have the same appreciation that I do.)

If you aren’t familiar with the premise of the movie, Murray’s character is stuck in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  Every day is Groundhog day and he can choose to make self-destructive, self-absorbed decisions or make the lives of others richer and more meaningful and in the process, enrich his own life along the way.

My son and I were watching the movie a few months ago and as Murray’s character is learning to play the piano, Ben said, without even thinking, “If I had every day to live over and over, I would learn to play the piano, too.”  I looked at him and laughed.  “You DO have every day to live over and over.  You have the rest of your life!

This is the point, isn’t it?  Why don’t we take advantage of every minute of every day?  We don’t have to be stuck in some Twilight Zone Rodent Holiday to grow, develop and expand our lives and horizons.  We can be different.  We can be better.  We simply have to choose this option.

And so, as we celebrate the strangest holiday on our calendar, I know that Doug and I are both watching this film, laughing at Murray, thinking about our own lives and ways we can make them better.  Now if I could just bet my wife to join me…

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