Virtually everything we learn, we learn through repetition. Athletes master their field through repetition and call it practice. Students learn complicated formulas and facts through repetition and call it review. Aspiring musicians learn a new instrument through repetition and call it lessons. Virtually everything we know, we learn through repetition.
The film “Happy Death Day” is a cinematic thriller that follows a young college woman named Tree Gelbman. Tree is a self-absorbed material girl. She ignores those who are beneath her. She rejects those who don’t meet her strict social standards. But that all changes after she is murdered on her 21st birthday.
Now, normally, death would bring an end to personal self-development and rehabilitation of flawed character traits. But in Hollywood, death can actually be a catalyst for change.
Tree begins a cycle of reliving the day of her death over and over again. Think horror version of “Groundhog Day.” To break the cycle, she must solve her own murder. But no matter what she does, each day’s reiteration climaxes the same way. Her death.
Ironically each day’s death brings her closer to real life.
Virtually everything we know, we learned through repetition. And if this is true of academics, athletics, and the arts, why would our most valuable life insights come any other way?
Do you ever feel like you’re living the same tragic day over and over again? You wish things would get better or change but it seems you are starring in your own horror story. Is there anything good that can come from these days?
Sometimes, while we are waiting for our circumstances to change, we change.
Dying daily changed Tree. She began to notice people she had previously ignored. She realizes that too much of her life was committed to impressing others. She came to terms with the loss of her mother and the broken relationship with her father. When "you relive the same day over and over again,” she confides in a friend, “you kind of start to see who you really are.”
The Apostle Paul wondered aloud who would break the cycle of death in his life: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). In the verse that follows he answered his own question: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”