groundhog day redux

All things are wearisome;
    more than one can express;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    or the ear filled with hearing.
 What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has already been,
    in the ages before us. – Ecclesiastes 1:8-10

February 2:

groundhog_dayI have to admit it, the 1993 Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, is still one of my all time favorite motion pictures. The film works on a number of levels; but mostly it works because, rather than being fantastical, the premise is actually very close to real life.

The story – in a nutshell – goes like this. Weatherman Phil (Bill Murray) takes his crew to Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to film live Groundhog Day shots for his show. Murray’s character is flippant and self centered, and things don’t go well. A blizzard shuts down travel and Phil gets trapped in some hiccup in the space-time continuum. Mr. “It’s all about me” is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

SAY WHAT? So how does that sound even remotely close to real life, you ask? Well, I’m really coming at this from a hybrid Ecclesiastes 1/Hebrews 12 reference point. Let me explain.

First, just about everyone reading these words woke up this morning to an alarm clock, rolled out of bed, and thereby launched a fairly predictable routine checklist of tasks, down to what order we put our socks on, where we sit for breakfast, how we fix our coffee, and what page of the newspaper we begin reading.

We then move out into our day to day lives in much the same manner. Sometimes we arrive at work not even remembering one single mile, turn, radio news item, or view of the commute. Auto-pilot; auto-think; auto-respond; auto-life.

The opening of Ecclesiastes – part of the Wisdom Literature section of our Bibles – is fairly convinced that nothing new ever happens, and presents the routine of life as a kind of hopelessness. The writer of Hebrews also sees the routine, but interprets it as an opportunity, a contest that needs to be engaged with diligence and commitment, an exercise in following Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2

bill-murray-groundhog-day-iataREINCARNATION? So it’s not so much that we are like Bill Murray’s character, doomed to a closed-loop cycle, a kind of perpetual reincarnation, so much as that – without Jesus – we are doomed to experiencing the dull monotony of pointlessness, day after day after day after day, days that might as well be exactly the same, when we fail to live as renewed, redeemed, reconciled, restored disciples.

Phil in Groundhog Day found meaning – and eventually a way into the rest of his life – by doing a couple of very important things:

  1. He shifted the focus of his life from himself to others (he becomes the most popular guy in town by learning people’s stories, going out of his way to help them, and eventually genuinely caring).
  2. He became the absolute best version of himself possible, doing everything with quality, creativity, and total commitment).

Newness, the kind of everyday wonder we long to experience, is always possible in the context of embracing the fact that – because of Jesus – we are a new creation, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

cropped-img_51281.jpgJesus challenges us to move out of mediocrity, out of sameness, and into the transformational, dynamic, charged-with-meaning experience of being a disciple. That’s how we can live to capacity, how we can serve others with joyful hearts, how we can live as a new creation!

– DEREK

 

All things are wearisome;
    more than one can express;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    or the ear filled with hearing.
 What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has already been,
    in the ages before us. – Ecclesiastes 1:8-10

February 2:

groundhog_dayI have to admit it, the 1993 Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, is still one of my all time favorite motion pictures. The film works on a number of levels; but mostly it works because, rather than being fantastical, the premise is actually very close to real life.

The story – in a nutshell – goes like this. Weatherman Phil (Bill Murray) takes his crew to Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to film live Groundhog Day shots for his show. Murray’s character is flippant and self centered, and things don’t go well. A blizzard shuts down travel and Phil gets trapped in some hiccup in the space-time continuum. Mr. “It’s all about me” is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

SAY WHAT? So how does that sound even remotely close to real life, you ask? Well, I’m really coming at this from a hybrid Ecclesiastes 1/Hebrews 12 reference point. Let me explain.

First, just about everyone reading these words woke up this morning to an alarm clock, rolled out of bed, and thereby launched a fairly predictable routine checklist of tasks, down to what order we put our socks on, where we sit for breakfast, how we fix our coffee, and what page of the newspaper we begin reading.

We then move out into our day to day lives in much the same manner. Sometimes we arrive at work not even remembering one single mile, turn, radio news item, or view of the commute. Auto-pilot; auto-think; auto-respond; auto-life.

The opening of Ecclesiastes – part of the Wisdom Literature section of our Bibles – is fairly convinced that nothing new ever happens, and presents the routine of life as a kind of hopelessness. The writer of Hebrews also sees the routine, but interprets it as an opportunity, a contest that needs to be engaged with diligence and commitment, an exercise in following Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2

bill-murray-groundhog-day-iataREINCARNATION? So it’s not so much that we are like Bill Murray’s character, doomed to a closed-loop cycle, a kind of perpetual reincarnation, so much as that – without Jesus – we are doomed to experiencing the dull monotony of pointlessness, day after day after day after day, days that might as well be exactly the same, when we fail to live as renewed, redeemed, reconciled, restored disciples.

Phil in Groundhog Day found meaning – and eventually a way into the rest of his life – by doing a couple of very important things:

  1. He shifted the focus of his life from himself to others (he becomes the most popular guy in town by learning people’s stories, going out of his way to help them, and eventually genuinely caring).
  2. He became the absolute best version of himself possible, doing everything with quality, creativity, and total commitment).

Newness, the kind of everyday wonder we long to experience, is always possible in the context of embracing the fact that – because of Jesus – we are a new creation, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

cropped-img_51281.jpgJesus challenges us to move out of mediocrity, out of sameness, and into the transformational, dynamic, charged-with-meaning experience of being a disciple. That’s how we can live to capacity, how we can serve others with joyful hearts, how we can live as a new creation!

– DEREK

All things are wearisome;
    more than one can express;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    or the ear filled with hearing.
 What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has already been,
    in the ages before us. – Ecclesiastes 1:8-10

February 2:

groundhog_dayI have to admit it, the 1993 Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, is still one of my all time favorite motion pictures. The film works on a number of levels; but mostly it works because, rather than being fantastical, the premise is actually very close to real life.

The story – in a nutshell – goes like this. Weatherman Phil (Bill Murray) takes his crew to Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to film live Groundhog Day shots for his show. Murray’s character is flippant and self centered, and things don’t go well. A blizzard shuts down travel and Phil gets trapped in some hiccup in the space-time continuum. Mr. “It’s all about me” is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

SAY WHAT? So how does that sound even remotely close to real life, you ask? Well, I’m really coming at this from a hybrid Ecclesiastes 1/Hebrews 12 reference point. Let me explain.

First, just about everyone reading these words woke up this morning to an alarm clock, rolled out of bed, and thereby launched a fairly predictable routine checklist of tasks, down to what order we put our socks on, where we sit for breakfast, how we fix our coffee, and what page of the newspaper we begin reading.

We then move out into our day to day lives in much the same manner. Sometimes we arrive at work not even remembering one single mile, turn, radio news item, or view of the commute. Auto-pilot; auto-think; auto-respond; auto-life.

The opening of Ecclesiastes – part of the Wisdom Literature section of our Bibles – is fairly convinced that nothing new ever happens, and presents the routine of life as a kind of hopelessness. The writer of Hebrews also sees the routine, but interprets it as an opportunity, a contest that needs to be engaged with diligence and commitment, an exercise in following Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2

bill-murray-groundhog-day-iataREINCARNATION? So it’s not so much that we are like Bill Murray’s character, doomed to a closed-loop cycle, a kind of perpetual reincarnation, so much as that – without Jesus – we are doomed to experiencing the dull monotony of pointlessness, day after day after day after day, days that might as well be exactly the same, when we fail to live as renewed, redeemed, reconciled, restored disciples.

Phil in Groundhog Day found meaning – and eventually a way into the rest of his life – by doing a couple of very important things:

  1. He shifted the focus of his life from himself to others (he becomes the most popular guy in town by learning people’s stories, going out of his way to help them, and eventually genuinely caring).
  2. He became the absolute best version of himself possible, doing everything with quality, creativity, and total commitment).

Newness, the kind of everyday wonder we long to experience, is always possible in the context of embracing the fact that – because of Jesus – we are a new creation, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

cropped-img_51281.jpgJesus challenges us to move out of mediocrity, out of sameness, and into the transformational, dynamic, charged-with-meaning experience of being a disciple. That’s how we can live to capacity, how we can serve others with joyful hearts, how we can live as a new creation!

– DEREK

All things are wearisome;
    more than one can express;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    or the ear filled with hearing.
 What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has already been,
    in the ages before us. – Ecclesiastes 1:8-10

February 2:

groundhog_dayI have to admit it, the 1993 Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, is still one of my all time favorite motion pictures. The film works on a number of levels; but mostly it works because, rather than being fantastical, the premise is actually very close to real life.

The story – in a nutshell – goes like this. Weatherman Phil (Bill Murray) takes his crew to Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to film live Groundhog Day shots for his show. Murray’s character is flippant and self centered, and things don’t go well. A blizzard shuts down travel and Phil gets trapped in some hiccup in the space-time continuum. Mr. “It’s all about me” is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

SAY WHAT? So how does that sound even remotely close to real life, you ask? Well, I’m really coming at this from a hybrid Ecclesiastes 1/Hebrews 12 reference point. Let me explain.

First, just about everyone reading these words woke up this morning to an alarm clock, rolled out of bed, and thereby launched a fairly predictable routine checklist of tasks, down to what order we put our socks on, where we sit for breakfast, how we fix our coffee, and what page of the newspaper we begin reading.

We then move out into our day to day lives in much the same manner. Sometimes we arrive at work not even remembering one single mile, turn, radio news item, or view of the commute. Auto-pilot; auto-think; auto-respond; auto-life.

The opening of Ecclesiastes – part of the Wisdom Literature section of our Bibles – is fairly convinced that nothing new ever happens, and presents the routine of life as a kind of hopelessness. The writer of Hebrews also sees the routine, but interprets it as an opportunity, a contest that needs to be engaged with diligence and commitment, an exercise in following Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2

bill-murray-groundhog-day-iataREINCARNATION? So it’s not so much that we are like Bill Murray’s character, doomed to a closed-loop cycle, a kind of perpetual reincarnation, so much as that – without Jesus – we are doomed to experiencing the dull monotony of pointlessness, day after day after day after day, days that might as well be exactly the same, when we fail to live as renewed, redeemed, reconciled, restored disciples.

Phil in Groundhog Day found meaning – and eventually a way into the rest of his life – by doing a couple of very important things:

  1. He shifted the focus of his life from himself to others (he becomes the most popular guy in town by learning people’s stories, going out of his way to help them, and eventually genuinely caring).
  2. He became the absolute best version of himself possible, doing everything with quality, creativity, and total commitment).

Newness, the kind of everyday wonder we long to experience, is always possible in the context of embracing the fact that – because of Jesus – we are a new creation, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

cropped-img_51281.jpgJesus challenges us to move out of mediocrity, out of sameness, and into the transformational, dynamic, charged-with-meaning experience of being a disciple. That’s how we can live to capacity, how we can serve others with joyful hearts, how we can live as a new creation!

– DEREK

All things are wearisome;
    more than one can express;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    or the ear filled with hearing.
 What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has already been,
    in the ages before us. – Ecclesiastes 1:8-10

February 2:

groundhog_dayI have to admit it, the 1993 Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, is still one of my all time favorite motion pictures. The film works on a number of levels; but mostly it works because, rather than being fantastical, the premise is actually very close to real life.

The story – in a nutshell – goes like this. Weatherman Phil (Bill Murray) takes his crew to Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to film live Groundhog Day shots for his show. Murray’s character is flippant and self centered, and things don’t go well. A blizzard shuts down travel and Phil gets trapped in some hiccup in the space-time continuum. Mr. “It’s all about me” is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

SAY WHAT? So how does that sound even remotely close to real life, you ask? Well, I’m really coming at this from a hybrid Ecclesiastes 1/Hebrews 12 reference point. Let me explain.

First, just about everyone reading these words woke up this morning to an alarm clock, rolled out of bed, and thereby launched a fairly predictable routine checklist of tasks, down to what order we put our socks on, where we sit for breakfast, how we fix our coffee, and what page of the newspaper we begin reading.

We then move out into our day to day lives in much the same manner. Sometimes we arrive at work not even remembering one single mile, turn, radio news item, or view of the commute. Auto-pilot; auto-think; auto-respond; auto-life.

The opening of Ecclesiastes – part of the Wisdom Literature section of our Bibles – is fairly convinced that nothing new ever happens, and presents the routine of life as a kind of hopelessness. The writer of Hebrews also sees the routine, but interprets it as an opportunity, a contest that needs to be engaged with diligence and commitment, an exercise in following Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2

bill-murray-groundhog-day-iataREINCARNATION? So it’s not so much that we are like Bill Murray’s character, doomed to a closed-loop cycle, a kind of perpetual reincarnation, so much as that – without Jesus – we are doomed to experiencing the dull monotony of pointlessness, day after day after day after day, days that might as well be exactly the same, when we fail to live as renewed, redeemed, reconciled, restored disciples.

Phil in Groundhog Day found meaning – and eventually a way into the rest of his life – by doing a couple of very important things:

  1. He shifted the focus of his life from himself to others (he becomes the most popular guy in town by learning people’s stories, going out of his way to help them, and eventually genuinely caring).
  2. He became the absolute best version of himself possible, doing everything with quality, creativity, and total commitment).

Newness, the kind of everyday wonder we long to experience, is always possible in the context of embracing the fact that – because of Jesus – we are a new creation, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

cropped-img_51281.jpgJesus challenges us to move out of mediocrity, out of sameness, and into the transformational, dynamic, charged-with-meaning experience of being a disciple. That’s how we can live to capacity, how we can serve others with joyful hearts, how we can live as a new creation!

– DEREK

….

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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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