Groundhog Day

We have holidays in America to recognize or remember presidents, historical figures and significant events among other things. One of the most unique and odd holidays occurs this weekend: Groundhog Day. Dating back to the late 1800’s, the most famous resident of a small town in Philadelphia lives in a hole in the ground. On February 2, everyone waits to see if Phil, the groundhog, will see its shadow when it comes out and whether it will then retreat back inside. For some reason it has been decided the groundhog’s reaction is an indicator of how much longer winter will last. Future anthropologists will see that the same nation that waits for this each year also landed a man on the moon, and they will be baffled.
In the 90’s, there was a movie set in this Pennsylvania town called Groundhog Day. In the movie, there is another character named Phil (not the groundhog), who is a TV reporter sent from the big city to cover the groundhog story. Phil is a cynical guy, who thinks this small town and their big event is just a big waste of time. While in town, he falls for a local woman, Rita. He does not make a good first impression. Things take a strange turn when Phil wakes up the next morning to find that it is Groundhog Day again. The day keeps repeating over and over. Phil uses this repeating day to learn everything he can about Rita: her favorite foods, poets and interests. Then he becomes an expert in all of them to attempt to win her over. Don’t take this as a movie recommendation, but it does raise an interesting thought.
I’ve often wondered when considering that movie how many people long for that possibility to relive a moment or a day. Do you have a moment that you wish you could go back and change? It is so easy for us to live with that regret, and it can keep us from moving forward. God does not give us that day to do over again, but He does give us freedom from that regret. When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, he knew that some of his writings might cause them to regret their actions, but his goal was not to have them continue in that regret. It was to motivate them to learn from it and be better. In 1 Corinthians 7:9-10 he wrote, “As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
Salvation without regret. What Paul wanted for the Corinthians is the same thing God wants for us. Embrace the salvation He gives and move on to a new day.
– Brian

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