"Groundhog Day"

Updated: Apr 2, 2021


Maybe you’ve heard the joke about what you get when you play country western music backwards; “You get your life back, your wife back, your job back and your dog back.”


Don’t you sometimes wish your life was that easy? How many have wished they could do it over again even if it meant being cast in the role of Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” and replaying the past over and over until we got it right. How many of us have looked back at things we have done, said or believed and cringed inside? How many have looked in the rear-view mirror of life and realized how foolish or ignorant or naive we were? How many have asked ourselves; “what was I thinking?” Sometimes God allows us to run into the same brick wall again and again until we finally get it. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons over the years by having done just that. In most cases , I ended up learning what not to do rather than what to do. And there have been times when I was absolutely dumbfounded at why it took me so long to get some of the lessons.


Time has a way of putting things into perspective. The relentless march of time, experience and repetition often gives us a focus we fail to see in our present circumstances. Given time and distance, anyone with a lick of sense can see that “Hindsight is indeed 20/20”. We see the mistakes, the pitfalls, the warning signs, the lessons and even the consequences of our actions played out over time. The process is often painful and humbling. As the saying goes; “Experience is a hard teacher because it gives the test first and the lesson afterwards.”


In some cases, I have had to go around the church block countless times before I finally got what God wanted me to get. Those “aha! moments” caused several major paradigm shifts in the way I now view Christianity, Churchanity, grace, His church, ministry, the last days, spiritual priorities and our simplicity and completeness in Christ. They have not been the result of weird revelations, late night pizza or onset dementia but an ear to finally hear what God is saying to the church through His Spirit and His Word. But before we come to that life-changing moment when we are finally ready to take the leap of faith God is calling us to we often have to take many proverbial laps around the mountain.


It is not just I. There are many men and women today who have been going through their own personal “Groundhog Day.” In fact, the church has been going through a replay for hundreds of years in some case and repeating the same mistakes with the same predictable consequences. But there are those who have “gotten it” at different periods in the church’s history and made the changes that were required. We have used words like “reformation”, “revival” and “restoration” to describe these seasons. In many cases, they too had to learn the hard way by replaying the same mistakes over and over until they finally got it. Many of these make up God’s remnant.


Today, I see a worldwide remnant of believers who finally “got it!” They too are grasping the lessons that repetition and experience has been trying to teach them. After flunking many semesters of church life, they have finally graduated from their own personal “Groundhog Day”. They will no longer make the same mistakes. They will never go back. They will no longer follow in the well-worn footsteps of manmade tradition, manmade hype and manmade churchanity.

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