Déjà vu All Over Again

By Jim Whitt

On Groundhog Day one of the cable channels was running the movie, Groundhog Day, back-to-back all day. This was appropriate since the movie revolves around the life of Phil Connors, who inexplicably finds himself reliving the same day, Goundhog Day, every day. The movie is a case of, to borrow a phrase from Yogi Berra, déjà vu all over again.

Phil is an egocentric TV weatherman who at first takes advantage of his unusual situation. He can do anything he wants with no repercussions. No matter what he does, good, bad or indifferent, the day starts over at exactly 6:00 AM. Phil eventually becomes bored with his self-serving ways and depression overtakes him. He commits suicide – several times – but even death cannot break the cycle of waking up to exactly the same day every day. His narcissism eventually gives way to introspection and he is transformed into a functional human being who cares more about others than himself. This transformation breaks the spell and he is no longer doomed to repeat the same day for the rest of his life.

Wouldn’t be nice if we could rewind life and replay it until we get it right? Well, that only happens in the movies. We have to live life in real time and live with the outcome of our decisions – good or bad. But even if we got to rewind and replay we wouldn’t get it right because we are human. Try as we might, we are not perfect. So, we wake up in a new world every day and make decisions about how we will live it. It is only in retrospect that we can assess whether we chose poorly or wisely. And God may only truly know the answer. After all, we only have a ground level view of our lives and our only perspective is our own.

We all have one life to live and never know when the last day of that life is. We do know that we never get to live any day over. So, we have to appreciate every day for what it is – the only opportunity we have to live that day the best we can. 

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