The Bill Murray comedy ‘Groundhog Day’ is a classic movie that my family watched obsessively for a brief period. For those unfamiliar with it, Bill Murray plays a weatherman who gets stuck in some kind of temporal loop, where he repeats the same day indefinitely [it happens to be Groundhog Day, hence the name]. Early on, Murray’s character has a lot of fun trying to manipulate the lives of people around him using his knowledge of things to come. But eventually the novelty wears off and he begins to actively try harming and killing himself to get out of the loop. (I promise it’s funnier than that sounds).
In many ways (I’m not advocating for self harm), as Christians, we’re supposed to do the same thing (Never in my life did I expect this, but that movie has a profound theological point)
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we get the same story and teaching where Jesus tells His disciples that in order to truly be His disciples, they must deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow Him.
But only in Luke’s account do we see the word ‘daily’ added for when we ‘pick up our cross’ (a colloquial phrase for ‘killing ourselves’). We are told that we need to wake up, say ‘yes’ to Christ instead of ourselves, put our own desires and ambitions to death, and move on with our lives for that day. And we’re supposed to repeat this process every single day.
We live in an ‘one and done’ culture, where you only need to pray a prayer, get baptized, and maybe go through a class once. Then, boom, you’re a Christian. But that’s not what Christ has told us. We are to repeat this process, each and every day that you and I wake up.
The days may not be the same for us, but the decision we make when we wake up should be.