Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Groundhog Day - Time for a do-over?
Every year on February 2, many Americans celebrate Groundhog Day. Why a holiday for a rodent, though they are kind of cute?
From Wikipedia: "According to folklore, if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day fails to see its shadow, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If on the other hand, the groundhog sees its shadow, the groundhog will supposedly retreat into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks."
Associated with the holiday is the 1993 Bill Murray movie of the same name, Groundhog Day. Surly weatherman Phil Conners, who grudgingly covers the festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, seems doomed to relive Groundhog Day over and over, again. As the film suggests, he may have been stuck in this time loop for many, many years. Only when Phil changes his self-centered ways and finally gets it "right," he is released from this cycle.
The desire for a do-over - to change and go back in time to do things right this time - is very appealing.
St. Paul had that yearning to change and do the right thing when he wrote:
"...I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing."... When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. ... What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"from Romans 7 (New International Version)
From his failures, Paul could not change and get it "right" on his own power, but he knew only the Spirit of God, living in him, working through him, would allow him to change and do the right thing.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, ...
"... You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you."from Romans 8 (New International Version)
As for the time loop and the do-overs, according to Scripture, there aren't any:
"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment..."from Hebrews 9:27 (New International Version)
King David in the Old Testament may have had the desire to go back in time and correct some very bad choices, which had tragic consequences. He had no opportunity for a do-over, but he did know that the Lord would be there to catch him, even when he stumbled.
"If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand."from Psalm 37:23-24 (New International Version)
Whether or not that groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, sees his shadow this February 2nd, Spring is coming and we have this promise and a cause to rejoice:
"See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land."from Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (New International Version)
For Groundhog Day 2010, be safe and may the Lord uphold you in His hand.
Photo from everystockphoto.com: Ground Hog II