This week my kids joined me in watching the 1993 movie, ‘Groundhog Day.’
It was released a year after Mandy and I were married, and it’s probably been decades since we saw it.
The premise of the movie is that Phil (played by Bill Murray) gets trapped in the 2nd of February, where he lives that same day over and over again.
After his initial shock, he starts to experiment with different outcomes, based on how he conducts his life.
Initially he spends his ‘days’ seeking pleasure, but eventually his frustration leads him to take his life, which only returns him to the start of the same day.
Finally, he devotes his energy to improving his skills, and showing acts of love and kindness.
Over the countless repeats of this day, Phil grows as a person, and he shows how in one day, he can make a significant impact on the lives of many people through his good works.
If it wasn’t for Phil’s bizarre time loop, he may have continued through life, racing from day to day and year to year, without any reflection.
This is the trap we can all fall into as we naturally surrender to the recurring cycle of days and weeks and months and years.
It reminds me of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, which starkly recognises that “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;” (1:9)
Yet, its conclusion is that we should remember our creator (12:1), and that we should “fear God and keep his commandments,” (12:13.)
As 2018 has now dawned, “may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)