Each year, on February 2, the nation turns to Pennsylvania for a very important announcement. We have built a legend around a small rodent and have even named a day after said rodent. Because every February 2 is Groundhog Day. It is the day when especially those living in the northern climates of our nation want to know, “Has the groundhog seen his shadow?” The legend states that if the groundhog sees its shadow after sticking its head out of his hole following a few months of hibernation, then it will be scared by its shadow and head back into its hole for another six weeks. Apparently the emergence of the groundhog for more than a brief period of time is a sign that spring has arrived.
This has caused me to ponder why we have created such a legend. Having spent all my life in the northern climates of our country, I completely understand that normally by the start of February I am more than ready to have winter and all of its weather types over. Usually by this time I am sick of snow and ice and cold winds. This year is a very unusual exception to that feeling since we have had very little snow, ice and cold winds. But I also understand this year to be an anomaly that only meteorologists can attempt to explain. So that being said, I would venture to guess that the reason we have created the legend of the groundhog is to bring hope into our normally bleak winter existence. Hope that all of this will end and the new life and warmer temperatures of spring will begin.
I am reminded how important it is for us to have signs of hope. I need those times and situations that remind me that what I am currently experiencing is not eternal. I need to be reminded that there is something better close at hand. That is one of the many blessings that I receive from my faith in Jesus Christ. I know that no matter how bleak the time or situation may appear, whatever I am experiencing is not the final answer. I have a different reality and a different life that awaits me. Not only after death but even a bit farther down the path of life. Aspects of this life are not permanent. The Lord continues to walk along the path with me and will lead me to better situations and better ways of living. As I walk with the Lord on this path, I also know that the final destination is one which does not have the bleakness, sadness, and pain that I experience on occasion on my current path.
So as I continue to look for signs of hope, I know that the greatest sign of hope is found in my belief of Jesus Christ. I just have to look for the face and hand of Jesus in my day and the sign I so desperately seek is there.
So thanks anyway Punxsutawney Phil, I am not relying on you as my sign of hope. I have found a greater one!
P.S. He saw his shadow. Oh well, six more weeks of what we have been having I can handle this year.