I have a colleague whose favourite holiday is Groundhog Day. At first I thought this was crazy. But when I heard the reason I began to understand. Groundhog Day has very few expectations. The greeting card companies have not made a major campaign out of it (yet - let's hope they leave this one alone). There are no expectations of gifts, or special rituals. There are no extra services for ministers to prepare. It is just a fun and rather whimsical day - if you even remember it. In most parts of Canada it boggles the mind to think that spring could be just around the corner on February 2.
Do you remember the 1993 movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell? Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, finds himself caught in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again. After many adventures and attempts at getting himself out of the loop of same-old, same-old craziness, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities. It is Rita, played by MacDowell who is the inspiration for him to get his life back on track.
And craziness it was. There is a definition of insanity that says "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." In the movie poor Phil starts to display some of the signs and symptoms of insanity. But with great effort and with some major soul searching and determination to do things differently he was able to break out of the time loop and find a happier and healthier way.
Are you stuck in a time loop? Is the church? Are we doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?