Happy New Year!

There is a parable in the Bible where Jesus tells his disciples that old wine cannot be put into new skins. Here is the reason, if you do not already know it: “After a time, an animal skin became brittle and ruptured easily. New wine put into an old skin would ferment, expand, and burst them open. New skins, however, were strong enough to stretch without bursting.”

Of course, this was a metaphor for those who were trying to hold onto old doctrines that did not fit into the advancing spiritual awakening that was taking place for Jesus’s disciples.

For me this is an appropriate question at the beginning of this New Year. Am I trying to put old wine or old ways of being into a new life? If I am forever and ever-expanding, which I believe I am, then how can I hold onto to the old me and expect to expand into the new. How can I be open to new ideas if I am closed-minded?

I recently heard a story of two brothers who were arguing over the dresser  that belonged to their father who had passed away almost 20 years ago. Apparently, the dresser was passed from father to son in their tradition. Now neither of these sons wanted the dresser, but they were fighting over the fact that it could not be passed to someone outside of the blood family who wanted it very much and was even willing to pay for it.  They were not allowing for a new idea to come in that would allow them to let go of the old and open up to the joy of giving away something to someone else who would receive joy from it.

How many times do we hold onto ideas that no longer serve us. There is joy waiting for us, but we cannot even see it because we are blinded by our own stubbornness. Do we ever find ourselves even saying things we do not really believe? The words just slip from our mouth. Old habits, it is said, die a hard death.

I’ve claimed this year as a year of bigger and more grander experiences of love and peace. I cannot do this if I am still trying to put the old ideas into my new formula. So, I must ask myself continually if there is anyplace where I am stuck in the old, whether it is the way I relate to my family, new ideas, old habits, money, our Center, etc.

On this first day of the New Year I claim that I am ready right now to put my new wine into new bottles. Everything is new. If there is anything of the old that still is good and worth keeping, of course I will incorporate it into my new life. But, in a new way. I will look to the new. Every time I find myself stuck in an old idea, I will catch myself and decide in that moment whether it is time to let go or if by holding on I am remaining stuck.

I am claiming a bigger life this year. I am willing to go where I have never gone in mind first and step out from there. My mantra this year is: “Let me be transformed by the renewing of my mind.”

Happy New Year!

Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita

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