Déjà vu is a feeling of having already experienced the present situation. The expression is derived from the French, meaning “already seen.” When it occurs, it seems to spark our memory of a place we have already been, a person we have already seen, or an act we have already done.
Every year begins the same way – an euphoria at the newness of it all, an excitement at the fresh start, a celebration of new life, a joy at the glimpse of great possibilities and a sense of hope at the vision of new horizons. We dance drunk, renewed with vigor at the momentary glance at what can be. The future is in our hands and the world is at our feet. All this for just a day or at the most just for a week. In the case of 2020, it may hold till the 5th of Jan, after which we face the first full week of life and work!
Suddenly reality seems to step in to glaze our eyes with a film of distress and discouragement. A sense of deja vu sets in as we begin to do the same tasks, shoulder the same burdens, face the same challenges, pay the same same bills and field the same questions of life.
We begin to see the world again with jaded outlook and our shoulders begin to droop as we realize nothing has really changed. No magic hand has swished it all away with a wave of its wand. We have to go through the same seasons, go through the same motions and experience the same happenings. Our enthusiasm drains away as our rosy picture starts getting brushed over with fifty shades of grey.
At this point, life just seems to be a cycle of whatever will be will be. A sense of futility and fatality begins to cloud the clear sight we had on that first day of the year. What is the use, we sigh, it was just a mirage of newness and freshness, a momentary spike in excitement!
Yet, even though life seems to be an endless cycle of same things occurring in the same way over and over, again and again, like a wheel, let’s remember one thing. A wheel has two motions viz., a rotatory movement around its own axis, but also a translational movement on a horizontal plane. Even though it seems to go round and round the same circle, it also accomplishes progress from point A to point B – it’s cyclic process enabling its forward movement.
Life is not a rocking chair that has a periodic motion but no simultaneous forward motion. Life is not static, but dynamic and marches on with pulsating changes towards a new normal, constantly. The redeeming feature of the repetition of same things day after day, month after month and year after year is that it enables escalation and advancement. It is by the consistency of reoccurrences that humankind advances relentlessly inspite of deterrents to its progress.
As we stood in the first day of the new year, many of us may have experienced a déjà vu, a feeling of I have been here, I have done this before and it is the same beginning of a year. There may have been a sense of boredom at the tedium of occurrences and a sense of weariness at the monotony of happenings. Yet it is crucial to realize that it is this very iterative process that enables concrete construction, like the consistent laying down of bricks in a line day after day to build a house.
Let’s take heart to also remember that this uniformity of life is what undergirds it with stability. It’s the very humdrum of life that enables us, by and large, to assess what we may expect and plan accordingly. It is this very uniformity that gives life solid foundations to build on, never fearing that the world will suddenly be turned topsy turvy.
Let’s know that King Solomon the Wise, after examining everything points out that: Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again. Eccl 3:15 GNB
Let’s take heart that the Bible promises As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. (Gen 8:22 NIV)
Let’s remember that there is something fresh to look forward each day: Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam 3:22-23 NIV)
Let’s not forget, in the midst of this sense of déjà vu, that a constructive application and accomplishment is being achieved, daily.
Let’s have a sense of the big picture and wait another 365 days before we give up on life!