Monday, January 31, 2011
Groundhog Day 2007, I was working in Chicagoland. This wasn't just any February 2nd; this was Groundhog Day in Woodstock, IL. Woodstock is where movie director Harold Ramis filmed Groundhog Day, the film starring Bill Murray. It is one of my favorite movies.
The radio station I programmed was licensed to Woodstock. I confess that I was drawn to this particular job in part because of my fancy for the Groundhog Day movie. Like most people, I thought it was filmed in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
As Groundhog Day approached, I was nearly giddy. We arranged a broadcast from the bar where Phil and Rita drink to world peace. We had the (unofficial) World's Largest Toast to World Peace that evening. The town of Woodstock celebrates Groundhog Day the same way Punxsutawney does, but with fewer folks.
The story of the sardonic Phil Conners and his “Is that all there is” view of life, most of us have identified with at one time or another. Phil spends day after day, week after week, month after month (year after year?) stuck in Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day. He goes through all of the stages of loss: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. It is only after he has accepted his situation and makes the best of it, that he is redeemed; embraced by the entire town when he chooses to serve it, and, in the end, loved by the angelic Rita, played perfectly by Andie MacDowell.
In Groundhog Day, after Phil wakes up on February 3rd with Rita in his arms, he says: "Today... is tomorrow". He realizes what a gift he has been given, to see a new day, in a new way, and you know he will make the most of it.
Make today your February 3rd, the first day of the rest of your life, fully awake and aware you are God’s Best Idea!, grateful, and seeking to serve.
Happy February 3rd!