by Rachel Revennaugh
Many people know that my favorite poem is Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night.” In fact, I even have a blog named after it. But the whole idea of the poem is pretty abstract.
‘Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’
–excerpt from “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas, 1951
So why do I think I can apply this to all of our daily lives? Christmas at Northwestern rehearsals are over, we’ve all just come off of a great break, and it’s time to go through it all over again. Maybe you’re dreading this, or maybe you’re ecstatic. Maybe this is your last semester, maybe it’s your first or maybe you wish it were your last. Maybe “spring semester 2016” means the same as “start with a clean slate!” or maybe it means “drown in the same puddle of water as I did the last two years.”
Maybe you feel victimized and used and unappreciated. Or maybe you have so many friends that you are overwhelmed. Maybe you make yourself a victim of your own insane schedule, or maybe you are bored on weekends.
No matter where you are or how you are thinking, I am asking you to fight against seeing the world the same way you always have, to “rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
No matter what happened in your past and what you did last semester, Jesus Christ is the only way for you to have a clean slate this spring. – Rachel Revennaugh
This can mean different things to different people, but allow yourself to be uncomfortable for just two minutes and question whether everything you’re doing is right.
Not that most of us at UNW engage in really “bad” activities, but is what we are each doing really helpful? Paul says, “All things are lawful, but not all things build up.”
No matter what happened in your past and what you did last semester, Jesus Christ is the only way for you to have a clean slate this spring. He is the only one who will make anything you do or don’t do matter at all.
My challenge is this: think before you watch that next Youtube video, before you pass someone in the hall without saying “hi,” before you commit to helping one more ministry and before you turn in that paper without working as unto the Lord and not man.
Just like in my favorite poem, everyone will look back on life with a different set of eyes. But the only way we can look back without guilt is through Jesus. The only way we can live in a way that matters is through him, too.
This means that we need to keep letting Jesus be the one we go to for guidance. Let’s start 2016 a new way this year. Will you “not go gentle into that good night” of being the same as every other year?
Rachel Revennaugh is a junior general music and English literature double major with a psychology minor. After Northwestern, she hopes to attend grad school for music therapy. Check out her blog about bioethical issues.