Monday, February 2, 2009

Phil-ing the love

Late last night at the end of another long Sunday, I sat on the couch for a few minutes of mind-numbing TV. I found a channel airing the movie “Groundhog Day.” That movie is one of my favorites, so I pulled some blankets and pillows up around me and settled into my little nest to watch.

If you haven’t seen it, the movie is about Phil Connors, a weatherman that is sent to cover the Punksutawney Phil shadow-seeing –groundhog event on Feb. 2. He has covered this assignment so many times that it has long lost its luster to Phil. He does it begrudgingly. He wants to just do the job and go home. No enthusiasm. A snow storm that he predicted would miss the area hit hard and their news crew had to stay an extra day. Phil finds himself in some a kind of time warp that keeps looping the same Groundhog Day over and over. The radio alarm clock goes off with a Sonny and Cher song blaring at 6 AM every day. And everything is the same as the day before. People are doing and saying exactly the same things as the day before. And the day before that, and the day before that.

Everything is the same except Phil. He’s the only one aware that everything is the same day as the day before. Knowing how things are going to turn out, Phil initially tries to take advantage of situations to benefit him and only him. By the end, he finds that using the foreknowledge to help others and save them from dangerous situations is eventually what gets him out of the loop.

It’s one of those goofy movies that, if you try hard enough, you can also find some inspiration and meaning in it. Smart and stupid, all in the same movie. Just my speed.

When I turned on the TV last night the movie was about midway through. I was already tired when I sat down on the couch, so it really didn’t take long for me to nod off. When I woke up a couple of hours later, I saw the same scenes I was watching when I first sat down. I almost felt like I was in the loop.

Turns out it was a Groundhog Day marathon and the channel was showing the movie back-to back again and again. Appropriate programming I suppose, given the fact that today really is Groundhog Day and all.

My alarm clock was set for 6 AM this morning. When it went off, I half expected to hear that Sonny and Cher song blaring.

It is so easy to get caught up in the loop. To keep doing the same things every day. That is especially easy when your focus is yourself. Me only circles back to Me. If my focus in on someone else, then it’s not a circled cycle, it’s a directional arrow.

So today, on this Groundhog day, I’m going to try to put down the hula hoop loop and start checking my quiver for those directional arrows, and to hopefully begin to focus outward more instead of inward so much.

Just saying the words quiver and arrows makes me think about Valentine’s Day, which is only 12 days away, and a really good day to show some extra love to others. And that makes me very happy.

Love y’all.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:9-11

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