Groundhog Day in December?

By The Reverend Canon Rob Park

I am finding that there are more and more days when I feel like I am losing my sense of time. I didn’t say much about that odd feeling of losing track of the days at first, but I have started asking my wife, “What day is it?”

Well, my wife has started telling me it is “Groundhog Day” which is her cheeky way of saying each day feels like the day before, like in the movie of the same name with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in which, Groundhog Day repeats over and over until the characters get it right. 

I do love watching that movie, but it isn’t that much fun living in it. 

I want to say a few words to acknowledge the mental strain of what we are all going through. 

The social distancing and restrictions are difficult on us, especially as the weeks turned into months. The loss of human contact, especially with our loved ones has been very difficult in a way that I don’t think anyone could have really prepared for emotionally and mentally.

With the recent rise in cases and the talk of this being the beginning of the second wave, this season of remarkable separation and uncertainty is stretching out longer and longer.

Eventually we will drive out of this tunnel and our world will open back up, but in the meantime, I want to encourage you to kindle the sparks of love.

Love of God, love of your neighbour, and love of yourself.

When we encourage our love God, we spend time with God in prayer. It is a spiritual connection that can be a balm in our time of need. When we encourage our love of God, it invites God into the centre of our lives which God can so wonderfully fill like nothing else can. God presence reminds us that we are never alone.

When we encourage love of our neighbour, it turns us into a source of hope and strength for others around us. Each and everyone of us is feeling the strain and stress of this life-altering pandemic. Every phone number, email, home address, or chat bubble has a person behind it who is also feeling the same strain. Reaching out helps them (and us) know that they are not alone.

When we encourage ourselves to love ourselves, it means we accept ourselves for who we are and we see in ourselves the worth that is inherent in each and everyone us as God’s children. Especially in our moments of discouragement and doubt, we can remind ourselves that it will never have the final word on our life because we are Christ’s. 

Each of these “loves” connects us and draws us into more connections. Making us stronger personally and corporately as “the church”.

The repetition of these days without change will come to an end. Everyday will stop feeling like “Groundhog Day” and we will overcome the virus that has brought to this separation and uncertainty.

(Spoiler) In the movie, Bill Murray and Andie McDowell’s characters, break free of the endless cycle only when they find the way to express their true love, not just romantically for each other, but for the whole community of people around them. 

It’s a wonderfully silly movie, but it has a heart that points to the truth of love.