“I got you, babe” plays on the clock radio, waking Phil Connors to face the same day yet again. Bill Murray played the lead in the film, “Groundhog Day” (1993). Phil discovers he is trapped in a time loop, experiencing that same song, day, and people over and over. To escape, he tries crime, exploitation, good deeds, even suicide. Yet every day, Sonny and Cher wake him up just the same.
Connors experiences a nightmare that forces him to focus on the future. The film plays to human anxieties about present realities and future unknowns. At least you know what your past is – it’s fixed. To focus on future unknowns is to subject yourself to the pathologies of fear and worry.
The Bible has something to say about the future. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34). It invites you to be circumspect about the future. “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Prov. 27:1).
So far, we’ve been talking about a future within the bounds of time, your earthly lifespan. There is a future beyond time that is quite unavoidable – the immortality of your soul. Critics say God’s promise of happy immortality is a divine bribe at best, an opiate at worst. But as a believer, you know that our faith is not in some imagined future state of the soul; it’s in a Person – Jesus. He calls you to a self-sacrificing faith, with eternal benefits secondary to a loving relationship with your Creator. The essence of faith “is the thirst for an end (God) higher than natural ends…self-rejection in favor of an object (God) wholly good,” writes C.S. Lewis. “That the self-rejection will turn out to be a self-finding, that to die is to live – these are sacred paradoxes.”
The challenges of today and the unknowns of tomorrow are not nearly as daunting when you accept that this world is but a foyer to eternity. That perspective of reality brings meaning and purpose into life today. “We live by faith, not by sight. We…prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it” (2 Cor. 5:7-9).
In the film, it was sincere love that finally released Phil from his nightmare. In reality, it’s God’s love that overcomes the fears, unknowns, and evils of this fallen world. “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). To secure your relationship with the Creator, He offers you a Savior. Believe, and be ready for your future!