Today is Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow; so according to the lore in this folksy folklore we’re looking at six more weeks of winter. When this time of year rolls around, I always think of the Bill Murray movie which centers on this tradition. You probably recall that for the majority of the film Murray keeps living the same Groundhog Day over and over again. And this enables him to know in advance exactly when and how all the details in his life will unravel on this particular day. But while continuing to relive the same 24 hour period, Murray starts to change. He goes from being an egotistical self-centered jerk to someone who actually enjoys helping other people.
For the Messiah follower, I think there’s a sense in which our sanctification journey is similar to Murray’s Groundhog Day. It seems that we often get stuck in continually reliving the same day in terms of the choices we make and the manner in which we respond to the myriad of sovereignly screened circumstances that intersect with our moment by moment existence.
Through cooperation with the work of behavioral change that the Spirit of God is ready, willing, and able to do in our lives (cf. 2 Pet. 1:3); like the Bill Murray character, we can be set free from excessively and myopically focusing on our own private world of disappointment, pain, and struggle. Which means that regardless of whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, we can enjoy an early spring!