Friday, February 1, 2013

The Preacher, Plagiarism, & Punxsutawney Phil

On February 2, we mark yet another Groundhog Day. All eyes will be on Punxsutawney Phil, the legendary groundhog who predicts the next 6 weeks of weather without the advantage of Doppler radar or any other meteorological technology. Only an irrefutable shadow.

Some years ago, my son, Andy, wrote a piece about the Punxsutawney Phenomenon. So here’s a little plagiarism for this week’s blog.

Groundhog Day isn't the most significant holiday on our calendar, but they sure made a great film about it!  The 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell is a good one, if you like silly movies. 

Groundhog Day, if you haven’t seen it, is about a selfish, grumpy TV weatherman from Pittsburgh who is sent to Punxsutawney to cover the festivities of the world’s most famous weatherman, Phil, the groundhog. Bill Murray’s character keeps messing things up over and over and over again, causing him to wake up and experience the same day over and over and over again…until he gets it right.

Eventually, he does get it right. And that feels strangely familiar. How many times do I mess things up during the day? Little missteps here, a quick word there, an unkind thought, and the list goes on.  Most of the time I know better, and you think I would act better, but I just keep falling flat on my face.

What captured my imagination the first time I saw the movie, wasn’t that Bill Murray kept making the same mistakes over and over, but his seemingly endless chances. The filmmakers must have known a little something about God’s grace. And this time, Hollywood gets it right. God keeps giving me more and more chances, day after day.

Grace means that God gives us another chance. But unlike Bill Murray’s character, we never have to get it exactly right. Grace is just there when we need it the most.

Well, that’s what my son wrote a few years ago. I think he is onto something. I think he understands the mystery of God’s grace. 

Like Andy and me, do you mess up along the way, each day? And isn’t it just amazing -- by grace we get another chance to get it right. 

What does God’s grace looks like in your life?


  1. I can totally relate to Andy's perspective. I, too, am grateful to receive so many "second chances" from God.

  2. Unlike Bill Murray's character, thank the Lord we don't have to face the same day over and over. He does give us the gift of repeated chances, and another part of that gift is a fresh, new opportunity, day after day, to "get it right"...even when we never quite do that. Which brings up another part of God's grace...His infinite patience with us!