June 6: a gift of God

In the movie “Groundhog Day”, Bill Murray is trapped in one day being repeated over and over again. No matter what he does, every morning he awakes to a day that is exactly the same. It is meaningless. The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “Everything is meaningless.” When Murray first realizes he is trapped, he decided to take advantage of everything and everyone. If the day is simply repeated, there are no lasting consequences – or so he thinks. But his efforts lead to despair and even his attempts to end the meaningless of his life only result in the alarm clock welcoming him to a new day exactly like every other day.

The movie may serve as a metaphor for seasons of our lives. We are not getting what we want when we want it. Or maybe our dream of what could be seems ever further away. Does my life have meaning, and if it does, why doesn’t today look any better than yesterday? Maybe you feel trapped. In the movie, Murray eventually breaks free from Groundhog Day. He is powerless to change the circumstances but he can change his attitude and behavior. He starts looking for a purpose, some way that he can add meaning to other people’s lives.

In Ecclesiastes, the writer realizes that meaning is found in accepting today as a gift of God. “[God] has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Eccl 3:11) Or Paul says to the Christians of Ephesus: “For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10)

Today is a gift of God. My life, your life is a gift of God. Paul says “handiwork”. The Greek word is used to describe “a work of art”. You are God’s artistry at its best, designed and created to take today as a gift and make this a day for the glory of God. May it be so.

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