A Special Day

Dear Friends,

I heard a funny story about a couple who were getting ready for the workday. He came down to breakfast and sat at the kitchen table and his wife asked him, "Honey, do you know what day it is?" And he told her immediately, "Why, of course, I know what day it is!" He actually had no idea what day it was, but didn't want her to know that. Nothing more was said about it, but as he went off to work, and the whole day, he was wracking his brain, trying to figure out what day it was. Was it their anniversary, her birthday, any special day the two of them had shared together? He was pretty sure it wasn't any of those.

It is Groundhog Day. When we lived in Western Pennsylvania, it was always big news what happened to Punxsutawney Phil that day. Even after all those years there I can never remember whether we want Phil to see his shadow or we don't want him to.

There was a movie called "Groundhog Day", where a man played by Bill Murray keeps waking up over and over again on the same day, which, of course, happens to be Groundhog Day. I saw a post on Facebook that asked, "How did the movie "Groundhog Day" finally shift to the next day for Bill Murray? Have we tried that yet?"

And someone made this comment in reply, "He breaks the cycle when he shifts his focus from himself to devoting himself to helping others. And yes: that's EXACTLY how we get out of this. All of this."

I thought it was a sentiment worth sharing. Maybe the way to get out of the cycle we are in, the endless doldrums of the pandemic, the economic uncertainty, the racial tension, the political chaos - anything else to add to the list? - is to shift the focus from ourselves and instead devote ourselves to helping others.

If we could do this, if enough of us were willing to try, maybe we could break the cycle, we could at least get headed in the right direction. If we did, this could be the best year ahead we could imagine, starting with the best Groundhog Day ever.

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane