Rage and the Dying of the Light
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. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
"Remember the great challenge of the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days, sometimes by being yourselves publicly exposed to humiliations and violence, and sometimes as associates of others who were treated in the same way. For you not only shared in the sufferings of those who were in prison, but you accepted with joy being stripped of your belongings, knowing that you owned something that was better and lasting. Do not lose your fearlessness now, then, since the reward is so great. You will need perseverance if you are to do God's will and gain what he has promised,"
The Book of Hebrews 10:32-36; New Jerusalem Bible.
Life is filled with a lot of things that are pretty rough. In a lot of ways we know who we are by how much we have hurt.
I am reminded of the verse that we see not by sight but by our faith. The author of the Book of Hebrews goes further into a discussion about Faith, after the above quoted passage.
Faith is not so much the warm sentiment that we have come to understand it to be. Faith is the substance of the soul, the very reality of the Divine in our footsteps. It's not feeling, but what feeling is created for.
Then I was reminded of Dylan Thomas and this beautiful poem. It was written after his father lost his eyesight. "Do not," my dear father, "go gentle into the dying of the light."
It's meant at least half a dozen things to me in the past. "Rage," this was the first time I realized how tough that word is, "rage, against the dying of the light." Don't go out without a fight, but I don't think this means to throw a fuss, or complain about it. It means to be bold, contain the heat and anger and pain- let it not out in violence but in passion.
My four year old son was on the beach the other day poking at a lady bug. He seemed to get pleasure from seeing the little bug get disorientated. I knelled down and said to my beautiful boy, "When you are bigger than something you are supposed to take care of the little things."
Use your fire for creation, not destruction.
"Wild men, who caught and sang the sun in flight, and learn to late, they grieved it on its way." It's pretty easy to lose track of the world and all that is in it. When we live by a faith that is a sentiment and emotion, then the world is good or bad, black or white... but the substance of the eternal soul says that all of life has the potential for creation, for making new.
And God is in the business of making all things new.
"And you, my father, there on that sad height. Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night!"
"Remember the great challenge of the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days," said the Author of Hebrews. The Author asserted that they not only suffered (more than we in America can ever understand), but also our friends were afflicted. But.. but, "do not lose your fearlessness now!" Oh friends, "the reward is great!"
And you will need perseverance for the coming journey. You'll need to stand up and march into the unknown. But for the sake of all that is good, "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!"