"Water will gush forth in the wilderness..." - Isaiah 35:6
**Photography by Melissa Talbot**
Normally, I have no idea what to write about until publishing day, Monday. Once in a while, though, inspiration will come early as a result of a pivotal revelation in the week prior. Last Thursday was such an example when, all of a sudden, two words popped into my head, Groundhog Day. In fact, I felt it was the exact title I was supposed to use when the movie was mentioned in a sermon message, completely at random.
Most of us are familiar with the movie Groundhog Day and have seen it at some point. A movie reviewer describes the theme of the movie as follows: "Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn't predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right."
At best, Phil is crass, unlikeable, and down right miserable. He tries to win the heart of Andie MacDowell's character, Rita, to no avail but, fear not, Phil gets another chance and another and another. He keeps reliving the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over again while not understanding why things are happening the way they are. He just wants to finish covering the story, get the girl and call it a day.
As he catches on to the daunting repetition, Phil begins to, slowly, make the correlation between his negative behaviour and the lack of success in impressing the girl who has caught his eye but won't give him the time of day. Phil has a light-bulb moment, realizing that it's not 'Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania' that needs an adjustment, it's him.
In the midst of Phil's immoral behaviour and failed suicide attempts, he has an inner revelation causing a re-examination of his life and priorities. It was a re-alignment of his attitude that brought the real change. I don't know about you, but I can really relate to this fictional storyline.
For many years, I battled with monotony. It felt like the same day was being lived over and over again without any tangible difference. I was bored, frustrated, negative, and filled with an attitude that my circumstances needed to change quickly. When I came into a relationship with God, however, it was several more years before realizing that it wasn't my situation that had to change, it was me who had to change.
It was hard to swallow the concept that anything internal had to adjust in order to see things differently but no matter how hard I fought against this truth, it was still the truth. Things would not change unless my attitude changed. It wasn't easy but, over time, I started to take small steps in appreciating the very things that were once seen as boring and monotonous.
Breakfast became an event in multi-tasking. Long walks, a celebration of sights, smells, and sounds while appreciating the peacefulness of a country road. You can't walk in the middle of a city road like you can in the country! I began to adjust my attitude toward the surroundings I once found, blandly, repetitive. Today, I make every effort to enjoy everyday life and refuse to allow monotony to be the assassin of my creativity.
It's amazing what a person can transform into when they decide to make an attitude change. Life is just better when you decide to do life differently in your head. Colours are more vibrant, sweet smells are sweeter, and a priceless contentment is experienced as you sit on the front porch, with eyes closed, listening to the birds. In that place, there is no wanting or needing for anything except more of that monotony because of the change of mind.
Encouragement for the week:
Have you experienced your own Groundhog Day? How long did it take before you knew it was you who needed to change things for the better?
For someone who likes things to change quickly, it was years before I slowed my mind down enough to see that change comes only when I am quiet and content in the everyday things.
I want to encourage you this week to change your outlook on one thing in your life. To see every positive thing you can in that one piece and celebrate those positives. It will be hard at first but with continued effort and determination to remain in the positive, you will be transformed.
If you are a Christian, you know how difficult it is to be content in those things that never seem to change. Be assured that God's promises to you are real and true and that change is coming if you decide to change.
If you are not a Christian, look for Jesus and you will find Him and all the wonderful changes that come in having a relationship with Him and God.