Can you imagine living the same day, on repeat?
Are there days you’d like to put on “repeat”?
I bet there are days you would dread living again.
There are certainly days (weeks, months) I wouldn’t want to live again.
“Groundhog Day” premiered when I was nine years old. I remember seeing it with my cousins and Uncle. It was miserable. The movie, starring Bill Murray, is about a guy who is stuck, living the same day over and over.
I bet it was easy to write, but it was painful for me to watch.
Sometimes my mind seems like it plays my own version of “Groundhog Day”, repeating my past until I go mad.
You ever been there?
It’s 4:38 in the morning here in Alabama. I’ve been awake for an hour and finally decided to get up and get this on paper.
- It’s been a year since the biggest humiliation of my life.
- A year since my sin was made public.
- A year since I was singled out and sent away.
- A year since I started counseling.
- A year since I thought I was going to lose it all.
- A year since I tried to run.
And those days, as far removed as they tend to be, are now playing over and over. The only difference is that unlike a DVD, the movie in my mind becomes more skewed and horrible each time it plays. The memory and the imagination can be ruthless torturers.
Just when the ugliness seemed to have really begun to fade. Just when I seemed to have found some footing. Just when the Cross had come back into focus. Just when my family was really feeling whole and my future was becoming more bright.
Just then…my past came clinking and clanging back onto the stage.
After a year of counseling, seeking the face of God, and being removed from all of that, my past came calling tonight, just to say, “Hey man, we’re still here. Don’t forget us. You moved out-of-town, but we haven’t gone anywhere, and we still know how to reach ya. If you won’t answer directly, we’ll be sure and send you a message.”
It’s been a year since Humpty Dumpty had his great fall.
God whispers through the clinking and clanking, “Be still. It’s forgotten. I love you.”
- It’s been a year since the greatest redemption of my life.
- A year since Jesus knelt down in the dirt with me, and used my sweet wife to say, “I’m not holding a stone and I’m sure not going to throw one. Come on, let’s get out of here.”
- A year since God singled me out and called me away with Him.
- A year since the Mighty Counselor started comforting and cleansing me.
- A year since I found out what truly matters.
- A year since Grace came running.
After a night of no sleep, Grace came calling this morning, just to say, “Hey son, I’m still here. Don’t forget Me. You’re listening to all the bad, but I haven’t gone anywhere, and I know how to reach ya. If you won’t answer directly, I’ll be sure and send you a message.”
And Grace sent me about five different text messages tonight:
- “Focus on those who love you. Focus on what matters now.”
- “Don’t let Satan have another moment of your week!! It’s all gonna be okay. It’s gonna pass. You are doing the right thing. Go forward. You’ve been going forward. Keep on. I love you. Abba loves you truly.”
- “You’re a spiritual leader to me. And to my wife. Maybe you messed up…but you are alive. And a leader. And currently in a place that needs a leader. I love you a ton. Don’t ever forget it.”
- “Remember, we all struggle to be more than our past transgressions, but that is why Jesus is so important. We are not limited by our sins/faults, but we are all redeemed by grace.”
The Bible tells us (in Philippians 4) to think on the beautiful, not the ugly. It says to think on Truth and not lies. The Bible tells us to let our minds meditate on things that are worthy of praise: whatever is gracious, noble and reputable. God’s Word also says that love covers it all. A MULTITUDE. Check this out, from 1 Corinthians 13:
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When your past comes calling, run to Love. Run to those who love you. Listen to their hearts. Let them smother you in the Truth. More than anything, run to the One whose life is defined by Love. Allow Grace to take that old, out-dated script, shred it, burn it, and re-write the story. Grace is always better. Grace always wins.