Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Christian Men at Work Podcast

Dec 26, 2022

Groundhog Day
Recently watched spent 4 hours watching TV and gained some great spiritual lessons.
I've been purposing to keep my screen time at a lower level to allow for other more important activities, but these were four hours well spent.
The first two hours were spent watching the first two episodes of season 3 of The Chosen.  I'm not going to talk about those episodes other than to say that I highly recommend watching every episode that's been made of this series, if you haven't do so already.  Look up the Chosen app as the easiest way find and watch it.
What I do want to talk about is one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, which I recently watched again.
I'll give you a spoiler alert up front if you haven't seen this movie yet I'll be sharing some key plot points.
You know how you can read a portion of scripture and get a new insight and understanding that you never did when reading it before?
I think that is mainly because the word is living and powerful and sharper than a two-edge sword, as it says in Hebrews 4:12.
Though it's not the same effect outside of scripture, I believe God can and does speak to us any way He chooses. I received spiritual lessons from this movie that I never would have in the past and I believe it's because of where I'm at in this season.
Let's start by giving a brief overview of the movie.
Bill Murray plays a weatherman in Pittsburgh who is proud, cynical, and self-centered.  He's forced to make the annual trip to Punxsutawney, to cover the revealing of the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil to see if he sees his shadow to determine if spring will come early.
Due to a winter storm Phil the weatherman is forced to stay an extra night in this small town.  In the morning, he wakes up to Groundhog day again, and soon finds out that he is repeating this day over and over.  The movie is very funny, but I also found it to be very deep with some spiritual lessons.  Though there were several colorful characters, the film is primarily a personal journey for Phil as he determines how to spend his time each day and how his choices are shaped by the change in his character.
Initially, Phil is in denial that this repeat is actually happening. Once reality sets in, he starts out appealing to his selfish nature.  First, he uses the repeated days to get information he then uses to satisfy his fleshly desires, both with women and living lavishly.  Then he shifts to a reckless lifestyle since there are seemingly no consequences to his actions, including breaking the law and committing suicide.
All through the movie, Phil is traveling on this business trip with his producer Rita, played by Andie McDowell, and cameraman Larry, played by Chris Elliott.  Rita is a woman with high integrity and a big heart, who is also very beautiful. Phil initially tries to woo her and sleep with her by using every day to learn enough about her to manipulate her into thinking he's someone he is not.
Ultimately, he runs up against the reality that he cannot fake his way to Rita's heart, no matter how much of an unfair advantage he has.  Though it doesn't seem like it along the way, during his time spent with Rita, her character begins to affect Phil and he starts to see just what a louse he really is.
He then makes a shift and begins to use each repeated day to improve himself as a person and to help others.
The movie climaxes when all the ways he has improved himself, helped others, and become a better person touches Rita's heart and she falls in love with him as he has fallen in love with her.  As you might guess, this change results in the end of the repeat of Groundhog Day, and the couple lives happily ever after.
So, I'm going to ignore the false eastern/Hindu spiritual concept of reincarnation as an application of this movie and share what jumped out to me.
This movie made me think of my own life as well as God's mercy as illustrated by the parable of laborers in the Vineyard found in Matthew 20.  In that parable, the owner of a vineyard hires laborers throughout the day and agrees to pay them the same pay, whether they ended up working all day or only worked one hour at the end of the day.  This has been interpreted to mean that those who come to a saving belief in Jesus Christ toward the end of life receiving the same gift as those who did so in the beginning of their life.
While the Bible also talks about rewards in the afterlife for our good deeds and Jesus told us if we love Him to keep His commandments, the Bible describes a God who is merciful and long suffering, you might say a God of second chances.  The Bible also tells us that there are consequences for our choices, both in this life and what comes after we die.
Phil the weatherman was destined to a life of misery if he continued with his selfish, cynical ways. You could say that Rita represented Yahweh whose high character and big heart helped Phil to see his sinful ways, cause him to repent, and change his heart to become more like Rita.
How about you, are you more like Phil in the beginning of the movie or the end of the movie?  Do you have a Rita-like God who has shown you a better way to live and be?
When it comes to your romantic relationships, whether you're married or single, are you thinking primarily about what you are or can get out of the relationship, or what you can give?
Similarly, when it comes to your work and career, do you approach your job each day thinking about what you can get out of your job in terms of satisfaction, pay, or retirement, or are you thinking who you can minister to and how God can use you in your job to further his purposes?
No matter what you've done or how selfish and wicked you may have been, like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, Yah is waiting to run out and meet you when you humble yourself, repent, and bend your knee to your Creator and His ways.
Make your relationship with Yah your highest priority.  Devote time to spend with Him each day including reading His word, praying and journaling as you hear from Him.
Let Him be Lord of every part of your life, and your days won't seem like a repeat of Groundhog Day and will go from meaningless and sad to purposeful and joyful.
My example of faith at work is Phil the weatherman.
James 4:13-16
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow [h]we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
What did the lemon when he answered the phone?  "Yellow"