This post has been ready for weeks and I hesitated with sharing it. Even after I was past the moment, I was wary to post. But now, I’m hoping that you relate and grasp the hope. Grab it and don’t let go.
I can’t lie. This post was hard for me to write. Someone I care dearly about was dealt a bad (and extremely unfair) blow. The people that made it happen seem to have escaped with little or no consequences. My heart felt like a stone in my chest. I restlessly slept and woke up sick. Literally and randomly. Each intake of breath stabbed me in my back, and as I swallowed, everything grudgingly made its way to my throat and stopped there as I choked it down. Contorted in pain, I managed to stop at a doc on my way to work. Muscle spasms and Tonsillitis. Nothing is promised, I thought. There’s too much going on, lots of transitions – much of it precarious. There’s enough negativity swarming in the world to just throw in the towel and say, “why try? There is no reason to continue, no reason to fight, the good people don’t win. Black men can’t live, people will heal at your expense, and efforts to attain God’s promises seem futile. Why God, anyway? Nothing changes.
I’m sure Phil Connors felt that way. It’s Groundhog Day! [SPOILER ALERT] Morning after morning, he woke up and it was the same day. He remembered what happened the “day before” – to the point where he could recite what people were going to say before they said it, and built on that knowledge the “next day.” The initial bewilderment turned to gleeful manipulation. He realized he had a large measure of control because he knew what was coming. He tried to use that knowledge to seduce his coworker but she had good sense, and day after day, managed to realize that something wasn’t right – though she didn’t know days were repeating for him. Defeated, he repeatedly and unsuccessfully committed suicide…
…then one day, it hit. I can use the knowledge of knowing what will happen to change MYSELF. Nothing may change but I can. I can control myself.
With that realization in tow, he began to educate himself, was there to fix flats, protect people from accidents and eventually became the man that the woman he wanted legitimately began to love. Nothing had changed yet; he was still trapped in this never-never land with no hope of a future but the predictability of this reality actually gave him power.
So, here’s a toast to us changing in the face of nothing changing. The world we live in is deteriorating and honestly, I doubt it’s getting better. Or let’s say you live in a dysfunctional home, or work with a crazy mean-spirited boss, or it’s just you. You messed up? Guess what? The same problems are waiting for you tomorrow. Every day that nothing changes, we are mercifully presented another opportunity to do-over and better. Let’s take God’s grace and get unstuck. It’s time for a new day.