Dec 15, 2016

Sometimes People Die

In the movie “Groundhog Day”, actor Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant, weather forecaster who spends the night in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where he is to do a broadcast the next day about the annual ritual of the coming out of the groundhog.
 
When he tries to head home, a blizzard keeps him in Punxsutawney. Phil spends the night and wakes up the next day to find that he has to live Groundhog Day all over again. And again. And again. And again....and again.
 
There is a scene in the movie which tugs on our sense of duty to help our fellow man. Phil decides that he will help out an old homeless man who eventually dies.
 
The first time the old man dies Phil asks; “why?”, and the nurse at the hospital tells Phil "He was just old. It was his time.... sometimes people die."
 
Phil responds to her and said; "Not today!"

The following days Phil does everything in his power to keep the old man alive. But he realizes that there are things he can’t control no matter how much money or time or soup he throws the old man’s way.
 
Phil soon realizes that no matter how many times he relives that day, the man is going to die each time.
 
Anyone who works with people who live in addictions must come to face the facts that sometimes people die. No matter what we do. No matter how hard we try. People have free wills and sometimes they make dumb decisions and choose death over life.
 
And even if they don’t literally die, their decisions to walk away from a new life and to return to their addictions leads them to a slow death that will kill off everything and everyone whom they will come in contact with.
 
And we could respond like the nurse and say; “sometimes people die…” as we try to soothe the pain in our hearts wounded from trying to help them…
 
Or else we could choose to never risk again our lives for someone who simply is going to ignore all of the warning signs and continue into an abyss of destruction.
 
Or can we; do we really have that option?
 
The thing that I have come to realize is that there is something wired into us who work with people who have addictions…
 
Something wired into us by others who helped us when we were in our own bondages…
 
Something that says to our wounded hearts; broken by the pain of seeing lives shattered and broken once again… 
 
 “Not today!” 
 
As we awaken and remind ourselves that ‘we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.’ (2 Corinthians 5:20)

“Not today!”
 
Is the battle cry we yield to as once again we say “yes” to the task at hand knowing that we are called to ‘not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.’ (Galatians 6:9)