The now-classic film, Groundhog Day, poses deep philosophical questions about life. One that still puzzles me—that applies especially to this time in my life—is whether the repetitive cycling of similar days is something good or something not-so-good. To say that another way: Now that I’m older, how should I think about a lifestyle in which each day is nearly a copy of all that preceded it—days circumscribed by little or no sense of adventure.
On the one hand, there’s a comfort in similitude—vanilla is still my favorite flavor of ice cream. Living an ad hoc life—not always knowing what a coming day will bring—seems stressful to me. Being able to plan with some assurance—that’s something that could remain a blessing.
On the other hand, it bothers me that repetitive routines may be smoothing down my creative edges, when I can’t name any new challenges that I’ve faced this day. When I feel like my life is just a succession of concentric circles that have no forward motion.
Some of the older folks I know are content with this aspect of aging: Nothing new, risky or surprising in life. Others strain at their metaphorical harnesses, wanting still to forge new paths, turn over new rocks, slay new dragons.
At this moment in life, I still like to think of myself as a kind of ministry scout—scoping out fruitful and exciting terrain for the ecclesiastical wagon trains that will surely follow. So I lean away from Groundhog Day as a preferred future. But I must also admit the possibility that just one small change in circumstance could change my mind—and lifestyle—towards a more certain way of being.
How about you? Any Groundhog Day questions in your spirit?
Any advice you can share….?
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