It’s a holiday tradition in our family. Every year on the Second of February we always gather around the living room with blankets to watch Groundhog’s Day. It is one of our favorite movies! A local weatherman, Phil, is stuck in Puxatawny, Pennsylvania due to a blizzard which he had predicted would miss the area. Not only is he stuck in his least favorite place on earth, he is also stuck in Groundhog Day. Every day is Groundhog Day. Every day he is awakened at the same time with Sonny and Cher singing “I’ve Got You, Babe” on the old clock radio in his hotel room. Every day the world around him is the same as the day before. It leads Phil to say, “What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today! I am reliving the same day over and over.”
Maybe you are beginning to feel that way as we wonder if January is ever going to end; if it will EVER stop snowing; if spring will EVER come. What do we do while we are waiting and feeling stuck in an endless winter? What do we do when we feel as if there is no tomorrow? What do we do when we can’t remember the last time when something new happened? What do you do if you simply feel stuck, a victim of circumstance over which you have no control?
When we accept the role of a victim of our circumstances, we can have the same kind of emotions Phil has in the movie; from confusion to boredom to anger to desperation. Like Phil, we need to find a sense of direction. He realizes maybe being stuck is not a curse—maybe it just depends on how you look at it. He begins to pursue his interests, like learning to play the piano and ice sculpting. Phil finally discovers that the secret of breaking free of being stuck is to allow “what is” to transform him.
Phil’s path toward personal transformation begins with a change in perspective toward being stuck. It continues as he became more honest, authentic, and humble. His transformation is complete when he no longer uses others but instead begins serving them. Once his personal transformation is complete, he is free to move beyond being stuck in the same place.
Phil’s transformation had an interesting result. He no longer felt the need to change where he was. There was a sense of satisfaction which led him to say, “No matter what happens tomorrow or for the rest of my life, I’m happy now.”
That is the spiritual challenge of Groundhog’s Day. Have we allowed “what is” to transform us?
Do we see ourselves stuck helplessly in our circumstances? Are we truly happy now, regardless of what happens tomorrow or for the rest of our lives? Can we have a sense of peace whether spring is just around the corner or whether we have six more weeks of winter? Does our sense of purpose rest on whether it stops snowing or the snow continues to fall?
Phil’s closing line in the movie is, “Let’s live here!” May we know that kind of contentment and may every day that follows always be the same kind of day!