Thursday, August 16, 2012

Groundhog Day

The movie "Groundhog Day" you know it?  (If not, put down your computer, rent it, watch it, then come back and read the rest of this post!)  It is truly one of my top five favorite movies of all time. 

For those of you who have not seen it or need a refresher, Bill Murray plays a smug, arrogant jerk of a weatherman, Phil Connor, who leaves on an assignment he feels is beneath him - reporting on Groundhog Day in Punksatawnee Falls, Pennsylvania where the Groundhog (yes, the citizens of the community would capitalize the G) is afforded a hero's welcome for emerging from his hole - or not - to predict the arrival of spring. The end of the assignment finds the weather team snowed in and forced to stay another night.  As the next morning dawns, Phil Connor awakens to find himself reliving the same day over and over and over and over with no idea of how to get time to move forward.  The movie sets a tone of hilarious desperation as Phil is transformed from a narcissist who has no life to "just a regular guy," giving life and hope to others and working his hardest to become a better person. 

The new day finally dawns after his transformation is complete.

I used to feel like I was awakening to my own Groundhog Day. 
Do you ever feel this way?
The same old routine. 
The same old people. 
The same old problems. 
The same old house.
The same old car.
The same old menus.
The same old...well, same old.

I didn't like this feeling.

But when I finally got outside myself and really looked at my life, or looked at others and compared, I saw just how beautiful my life really was.
I think I'm becoming the new Phil Connors.

When did this transformation take place?

When did I become a new enough person to have my eyes opened to the blessings surrounding me,
rather than just being a jerk and wanting more?
More house, more car, more money?
A bigger room?
A warmer shower?
A latte instead of a plain old cup of Joe?

Like Phil in the movie, I know it was when I finally quieted myself and looked around.
When I found more joy in a book of poetry and a simple meal of eggs and toast
than a Broadway show and a seven course meal.
When I wanted to help more than I wanted to take.
When I wanted to save a life rather than complain about my own.
When I wanted to spread joy rather than gossip.
When I wanted to live in the shadow of our Lord
rather than the shadow of a pretend version of myself.

Yes, the movies can be such a wonderfully crafted parallel to our own lives and dawning wonders.

Just thank goodness this all dawned on me before I considered climbing into a bathtub with a toaster oven in the hopes that one day would end and another begin.
(Confused by my last statement?  Really, go rent the movie!!!)

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