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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

by
Charlie Rose
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare

Scripture
“…no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins." Mark 2.22

A Word of Hope

Another New Year’s Eve has rolled around again and it’s time to dust off that familiar Gospel quote about old and new wineskins even though most of us in this country and in this century have never seen wine poured from anything but a bottle. Yet the concept of “out with the old; in with the new” still applies quite well.

At the end of the year, I do a lot of web searching for ideas about formulating a plan to make the next year even better and leaving the old ways behind, so I start mentally compiling a list of all the spiritual thinkers and motivational speakers I can think of to help me with my plan. You’ve read their books and watched some of their DVD’s probably. They all say very similar things, mostly about accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative aspects of our lives. Chris Freytag, who is a fitness trainer, speaker, motivator, mom, and health coach, speaks for a lot of them in her following list of the stumbling blocks that are common to most all of us:

  1. People pleasing
  2. Doubting yourself
  3. Negative thinking
  4. Fear of failure
  5. Criticizing yourself
  6. Saying yes when you want to say no
  7. Procrastination.

I find this to be a helpful organization of thoughts and each one could certainly be a subject of lengthy meditations about what that particular negative aspect of my life has done to both my personal and professional relationships. I’m certainly prone to be a people pleaser, for example, and have been known to work until the early morning hours on a project for an unappreciative client or stay awake at least that long listening to the personal grievances of a friend who is more interested in hearing himself complain than in listening to advice. I sometimes think I should have paid better attention to # 6 on the above list and politely said no to both of these individuals and saved all of us some time.

It would seem that an over-zealous amount of people- pleasing could certainly be the result of practicing numbers 2 through 5 on the list as well; more subjects of honest meditation. I hope The New Year will be a good time to begin discarding a few old wineskins for me and for you too. I do offer one more word of advice however. Whatever you do, avoid # 7!

Prayer
Guide me in my list-making this year. May my resolutions agree with what you had planned for me all along.

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