33 / 365 – Groundhog Day

RANDY WERNER

I’m not totally sure what a groundhog is, but if one stuck up his head today in this icy wind, I think its head would crack off. I think about a prairie dog sticking up its head and it cracking off. I don’t think I’ve seen a prairie dog this time of year. Maybe they hibernate. There aren’t as many around as I used to see when I was a kind, when they had big nests in some of the fields and my dad would come along with the tractor, just pull a big disc over them and their little dog town would disappear. Maybe that’s what happens to ‘em if they come out of their holes on groundhog day. I saw a movie once on TV, about a guy whose a weatherman at a TV station somewhere, Pennsylvania, I think, and he has to go to this town and do a news thing about the groundhog there, Punklederry Phil, or something, Punklederry is the name of the town. And something happens and he keeps reliving that day over and over. That would be hell, reliving a day over and over. Especially groundhog day. Especially if you were a prairie dog who accidentally thought you were supposed to come up out of your hole, too, not just groundhogs, and you came up on a day like today and the wind froze your head and it snapped right off. Terrible if you had to live that over and over, having your head snap off day after day after day.

Some people are happy now that the weather finally turned cold. When we were having such a warm winter, back in December, coming up on New Year’s, on the milennium, I thought maybe Pastor was right, that maybe it was the end times coming. I know people made fun of that, but as Pastor says, if you live by your faith, you won’t be respected. The Gospel we live by, not everyone can do it. It isn’t convenient for people. So when I try to live what I believe, people make fun of it, call you crazy. I tried to explain to a few people, the things in the Bible that helped me understand what is coming, what is going on. But most people haven’t studied it, they’ll tell you, “No, the Bible means these other things,” other things that are totally against what it really says. Some people, I try to help them out, but they just don’t want to be helped. And I know I’m not the best guy to be talking about these things. I know I don’t explain so well that other people can’t get it. These things are complicated.

I do my best. I am lucky for what I have. I’ve lived other ways. After I went away and was in the Navy, I saw a lot of things, I did a lot of terrible things. I wasn’t good to people. Guys went out and drank and do all kinds of terrible things. Sometimes I’d wake up and I couldn’t remember. But I heard stories of things I did. People, men, left to their own where they can do anything they want, they will do terrible things. I can’t even think about those things now. I am just fortunate that my God and my Savior had mercy on me and forgave me for all of that. I thought of that when I saw that movie about groundhog day, the guy who is just miserable and mean to everyone, and he has to do it over and over. After days and days, the same bad day over and over, he figures it out and starts to be nicer. I think about, “What if I had been trapped in that life, getting drunk and blacking out and having those friends who weren’t friends but who I thought were cool, living those bad days over and over?” It’s almost too terrible to think about.

I am blessed. It’s OK if people want to make fun of what I believe. It’s like I might not be alive now, if it weren’t for that forgiveness. I hope I never forget that.

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