Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day

If you had to live the same day over and over, what day would you pick?

For years now my wife and I find a way to squeeze watching "Groundhog Day" into every February 2nd. It's a great movie, featuring former Ghostbusters buddies Bill Murray (playing the lead, Phil Conners) and Harold Ramis, who directs and has a cameo in the movie. You've seen it, I'm sure, so I won't go into too much detail. Phil Conners is a prima donna weatherman who is sent to Punxutawney, PA to see if Phil the groundhog sees his shadow. But every morning he wakes up and its groundhog day again (great choice of alarm clock music), and he has to relive the same day again.

Then begins the modern day version of Ecclesiastes. In that book, usually attributed to Solomon, you have the man who has it all--the girls, the money, the great job--but in the end nothing satisfies the itch inside (all is vanity). Phil Conners explores all these and more, but ends up trying to kill himself; more than trying, succeeds in killing himself but can't, still waking up to Sonny and Cher at 6am. He too finds that all is vanity, all this life has to offer is empty if the deeper itch isn't scratched.

People today look to scratch that deeper itch the same way humans have for centuries now: money, sex, and power.

But the truth is that deeper itch is scratched only by authentic relationships. In the movie version, Phil tries hard to seduce Andy McDowell's character, but the manipulation fails. In the end, when he gives himself to serving others, getting to know them and their real dreams and passions and failures, he becomes the kind of man she can fall in love with.

You and I have the same opportunity today. We can seek satisfaction in money, sex and power and forever be disappointed the itch is still there.

Or we can pursue authentic relationships with God and people and find that in serving others out of our own sometimes successful/sometimes failure life, we find satisfaction. We find our itch gets scratched.

Anything else is vanity.

No comments: