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When Life is Futile, Choose God’s Alternative

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Groundhog Day always brings to mind the movie by the same name. In the film, Bill Murray’s character, Phil, travels to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to report on the same boring groundhog.

Phil views the annual observance as a sign that there is really no “to­morrow.” So the film depicts him living out this deception.

He wakes up every morning and experiences the same Groundhog Day over and over again.

  • At first, he gets reckless, figuring there are no consequences.
  • Eventually, he tries to escape the futility—even going so far to as to commit suicide (with the groundhog!)—but he still wakes up to the same Sonny and Cher song every day at 6 AM.

Film critic Richard Corliss notes: “He is trapped in time . . . Yet he can’t die, he can’t escape, he can only change.”

What would you do if you were stuck in one place, and every day was exactly the same and nothing that you did mattered?

When Phil asks that question to his buddies, one of them confesses: “That sums it up for me.”

Does that sum it up for you?

Life is Futile When  . . .

If we’re honest, at times we feel no hope that we’ll ever move beyond life’s daily grind into fulfillment. Why?

  • There’s an influence in our hearts the Bible calls “the flesh” that deceives us into pursuing a life of futility.
  • But there’s another influence, given by the Holy Spirit, which releases us from this lie.

The Holy Spirit gives our lives direction and offers us a way to make practical decisions that pay off. Think about that in these verses:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. —Galatians 6:7-8

This is true for every person. Literally, it translates: “the one who continually sows.”

  • We’re talking about a way of life.
  • When you’re sowing the flesh you’re serving yourself.
  • The flesh is the sinful nature within you—the tendency we all have to sin.

But enjoying the satisfying benefits of eternal life comes from sowing “to the Spirit.” How do we do that?

When Life is Futile, You Can Choose God’s Alternative

We make a conscious decision every day to live out: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). These are the seeds we plant if we want to reap a harvest that satisfies.

It’s daily.

That’s why many people choose the easy way of the flesh. We get tired of doing what’s right because it doesn’t seem to do any good. But we need to remember that the law of sowing and reaping reveals that there usually is a delay between our obedience to God and the harvest we reap.

In the film, Phil changes from viewing his day as an opportunity to indulge his flesh to seeing it as an opportunity to help others.

Only then is he released from futility.

So when we’re sick of the routine, what does God have to say to refresh our focus?

And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. (Gal. 5:9)

Don’t let the delay deceive you.

Tell me what you think: What do you do when it seems life is futile? To leave a comment, just click here.


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