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I hadn’t seen it for more than twenty years. Groundhog Day. That rom-com built on the idea of a man stuck in the seemingly endless loop of a repetitive day. But my kids and I enjoyed it the other night, and I got to see it through eyes that now had twenty more years on clock. What struck this time around was that it shared a premise with Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol, namely, the reformation of a man.

Phil Connors, actor Bill Murray’s character, begins Day 1 of his loop as an arrogant, opinionated narcissist, only to be eventually reformed, through the opportunities of the same day repeated, into a man who is starting to think of others. On the penultimate day before his escape from the loop, Phil the egomaniac has become Phil the compassionate. And Phil the latter, seemed to me to bear a strong resemblance to Scrooge, after his sanctifying encounter with the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.

I wonder if the Christian life can be thought of like that. Days given by God, filled with opportunities either to indulge our selfishness, or to learn to think of others. Days that are very much like each other, filled with the same people, the same circumstances, and in the same setting. And just maybe we only get to finally exit the loop of life when the lessons are learned, namely that the world does not revolve around us, but around Another.

DM 6th July 2020


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