Friday, December 15, 2017

You can Gazump Your Groundhog Days

Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, quickly became a comedy classic.

Murray’s character wrestles with a day that keeps repeating on him, but on him alone, with the same people and the same conversations – over and over again, despite his hilarious efforts to change that day’s course of events.

While this movie is a comedy, some groundhog days are no fun at all, when bad memories greet our waking moments. These memories refuel our anger or sense of failure, locking each new day into past defeats or resentments.

We all make mistakes, which is why forgiveness is so important. It gives everyone room to grow, through making and accepting apologies.

Forgiveness is harder when apologies never come or if they are not accepted; for people who deny any guilt will never change to make us happy. In fact, more malicious types would see no reason for change – if they find their petty victories outlasting any legitimate use-by date.

Waiting for them to change will waste our time and stifle our confidence to embrace fresh opportunities which are awaiting our willingness to explore them. For others’ refusal to grow is no excuse for us to stagnate.

Forgiving those who refuse to admit fault will also shut down their ability to vandalise our future. Just as Jesus prayed for His executioners: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t understand what they are doing,” we can also let His grace override our pain – to build new hope and effectiveness from within its depths.

Noel Mitaxa

On behalf of a church near you,

Inviting you to explore God’s love.

 

Noel Mitaxa is from South Eastern Australia and has been in ministry since 1973, firstly with Churches of Christ – similar to the Disciples in the USA – until 1990, when he moved to a faith-based inter-based inter-church sports ministry of sports evangelism, sports chaplaincy and sports media, before returning to pastoral ministry with Baptist Churches in 1996.

Throughout his ministries, he has always aimed at building the kinds of churches that express God’s love practically, as much as verbally.  Most recently, this included a community centre for woodworking, a community garden and counseling and education programs.

He also enjoys the methanol fix of speedway chaplaincy, in which he has served nine seasons as the Head Rev of all those rev heads!

He and his wife Judy have been married for 35 years; their four kids have grown up and they have three grandchildren.

His writing began in 1982, with his first weekly Good News column, which has always focused on helping unchurched people to realize that God loves them and that He is already there for them.  The column has also been a tool for feeding and starting ‘water cooler’ conversations among Christians and non-Christians.  He also writes for Cypress Times in Houston TX.

 

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