The Hope We Have in Christ When Work Feels Meaningless

The Hope We Have in Christ When Work Feels Meaningless

If someone sees their job as Groundhog Day, what encouragement is offered them by seeing their work as an opportunity for sanctification? It can seem like a stretch, but Bacote voiced his confidence on how we can find hope in this idea: “Sanctification is a great lens for our view of work when the job (or dimensions thereof) seems meaningless because our encounter with doldrums brings us face to face with how we think about and pursue life.” Living the same day over and over gives Conners the chance to evaluate his behavior and priorities. Bacote shared that we’re afforded a similar opportunity.

It’s considered the most spiritual film of all-time, the king of “divine comedies”. Watching it on a regular basis is thought to be a key to enduring happiness as it speaks about the importance of life and work.

By “it” I mean Groundhog Day, the 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, in which, in Charles Murray’s concise synopsis:

An egocentric TV weatherman played by Bill Murray is sent to Punxsutawney, Pa., to cover Groundhog Day. He hates the assignment, disdains the town and its people, and can’t wait to get back to Pittsburgh. But a snowstorm strikes, he’s stuck in Punxsutawney, and when he wakes up the next morning, it is Groundhog Day again. And again and again and again.

When watching the film one weekend, I was struck by a conversation that Murray’s character, Phil Conners, has with another character named Ralph:

Phil: “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?”

Ralph: “That about sums it up for me.”

“That about sums it up” for a lot of us when we’re at work. We often feel stuck, like none of the work we do matters – to God or anyone else.

We may not live the same day over and over again like Conners. For us, time marches on. But, like Conners, we do wake up each day with the opportunity to grow in grace and maturity.

Though work sometimes feels like Groundhog Day, endlessly meaningless, it’s still an opportunity to grow in sanctification.

Work Is an Arena for Sanctification

I once explored this idea over e-mail with Dr. Vincent Bacote, a professor of theology at Wheaton College and an IFWE guest contributor who has written about work as an arena for sanctification.

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