“Another Month Ends: do not go gentle into that next month…”

March 25, 2019

Every month this happens. In fact, every year it happens 12 times. Today is no different… another month ends. Of course, this is obvious to all, but for me it is a final debrief on how another month of my life passed. Now I take a long look at what was and was not accomplished.

 

 

 

4 months down for 2018, one third of the way through this year and that much closer to 2019. I have two thirds of the year left to accomplish my new years resolutions. I have a couple of my goals already achieved for the year, but actually I have a lot more to still do. I think in all my many years of setting new years resolutions I have maybe only accomplished my whole list once or twice in my life. This year I am trying to be particularly intentional to accomplish my goals, and these monthly goals are beneficial to keeping the larger tasks in sight and hopefully on track.

 

Doing these monthly goals is not an altogether new venture for me. I used to always do monthly goals, but it has been a few years since I last took the time to print out these goals and frame them. Back in high school and college this was a regular practice, and I was excited to design and see the latest month’s resolutions hanging on a wall near my desk. I am excited to get back into this exercise.

 

So what is the verdict? How was my April? Well, like many goal list I accomplished less than half of the 12 total goals. Of course I wish that I had accomplished all 12 of the tasks, but some of these goals I knew were a little too ambitious to complete all in one month. At times, it is difficult not to get discouraged when I reach so few of my total goals, but I try to also take pause and appreciate the items that were accomplished.

 

Some days these monthly tasks feel like sisyphus’s punishment. When I get close to accomplishing another task or creating a new goal sheet for a new month, the boulder and weight of the world begins to roll back down the mountain. But this is the stuff of life. This is what it means in the curse of the Fall of man when God declared that we would work in the garden and,

 

“You shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.” (Genesis 3:17–18, ESV).

I once had a counselor tell me after a particularly long season of toiling in the desert working amongst the thorns and thistles that I should take notice that this kind of work often gets you bloodied and that can cause deep pain. It can be discouraging not to reach your goals, not to accomplish all 12 items on your monthly or yearly goal sheet, but we are called to work, work, and work. No matter how bloody we get from the thorns and thistles, I print out another month’s goal sheet and try again, because that our calling in life.

I leave you with this poem that encapsulates the continual push to strive another month.

 

“Do not go gentle into that good night”
Dylan Thomas, 1914–1953

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 grieved 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.

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