“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” I Timothy 1:7
Me, Mia, Bella, Korie and Will - contemplating riding the Tower of Terror
Why do scary rides and scary movies excite us so much? Is it because we fear we may not make it out alive? Most likely the opposite. We trust that the makers of the notoriously frightening rides, like the Tower of Terror at Disneyworld, are safe enough for even the most intimidated rider, otherwise, I can assure you I would not go near it! But isn’t it always comforting to ride with someone who isn’t scared at all, like Will in the above picture? He’s cool, calm and collected—mainly cool.
A few days ago on February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow, surrounded by a festivity of food and music, excitement and anticipation. Everyone was waiting to see if this little famous hog would spot his shadow and then turn and run back to his safe abode or not see his shadow and give everyone hope for an early spring. To everyone’s joy, he did not see his shadow! It’s been quite a few years since that groundhog was shadow-free. I just assumed groundhogs were scaredy little creatures who pretty much always saw something that intimidated them and sent them scurrying to their hideout. In the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, that specific day plays over and over for Bill Murray’s character until he can get his attitude right. He did not want to be there at all, in that freezing, snowy, tiny town with nothing fun to do, in his big-city opinion. So, every morning he would wake up and get to start the day again, fresh and brand new. He would get the opportunity to learn from every mistake he made—from the little things like stepping in the same puddle every day to the big ones like hurting the feelings of the girl he was falling in love with. He would get up the next day, actually the same day, and try again. At first, he refused to change the hard stuff. But as that same day wore on, he let down his fears, started sharing his thoughts and formed meaningful relationships. The next day, he saw that it was just that, the next day.
Wouldn’t that be awesome? To get to redo the day before if you really screwed it up? Actually, we can! When Jesus died for us, it was the way for us to start over. At night when we lay our head down and think of the things we wish we could have done differently, we can add the final prayer of thankfulness, because we know that tomorrow is a new day. We can know with full confidence that yesterday is over.
Paul says in I Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”
Paul is telling us we can face our fears, no matter what they are. God has given us each new day to try again. And it’s so much easier with Jesus by our side.
So, next time you see your shadow or your child begs you to sit by them during the scariest ride of your life, think about that silly groundhog, and thank the Heavenly Father for giving us the ability to face our fears so we can experience new and better blessings and relationships each and every day.
Have a sunny week!