Groundhog Day

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Today is Groundhog Day, when a groundhog emerging from its burrow will predict whether there will be six more weeks of winter. I'm sure it's a reliable way to predict the future. Well, OK, maybe not. I bet the groundhog is not contemplating the future, but simply coming out of his burrow.

But in his honor, consider the movie “Groundhog Day.” In it a TV reporter is sent unwillingly, resentfully, in fact, to cover the ceremony in Punxatwney, PA. The whole time he wishes he were somewhere else. The next day he wakes up and it's Groundhog Day all over again. Indeed, he keeps repeating the same day over and over, Groundhog Day after Groundhog Day. He goes through a series of responses: he gets goofy and does things he normally wouldn't, knowing there will be no consequences. He does various terrible deeds, even getting himself killed, knowing he'll wake up again the next day and start all over. He takes piano lessons. He does good deeds. He flirts with the woman he's attracted to. But he's always yearning to get out of Groundhog Day, and he never does. Day after day, it's still the very same Feb. 2. Day after day, he wishes he were elsewhere. But eventually he comes to a point when he forgets himself and becomes entirely present, perfectly satisfied with the present moment—and finally he breaks free and re-enters the real world.

It's simple: be present. We so easily get caught up in rehashing the past, worrying about the future, wishing things were otherwise, being elsewhere. Ironically the more we wish things were otherwise, the more stuck we are. It's only when we accept What Is that we are set free. We can only move into an actual future from the real present.

Today let the groundhog predict the future. You stay in the present. Live it while it's here. It won't come again. The present moment is all you have: if you don't live in it, you don't have anything. Accept what is. It's good enough. Let this whole day be the one, unrepeatable gift that it is. May it be a blessed one.

Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve

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Copyright (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com