Marvin Repinski: Excellence: Doing your very best

Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 7, 2021

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Jesus is recorded as saying that his master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.” – Matthew 25:21

Worldwide, we may assume the most attention-gaining events of some weeks. I say “some” because many weeks, even years, were spent by hundreds of people preparing for the summer Olympics in Tokyo. We are drawing to the close of several intriguing, enjoyable, impossible events. World records have been broken and set. For the affections of the sports world, it has been a satisfying, even fulfilling time on a planet that is blistered with so much pain, confrontation, war and unresolved issues. My T.V. has been as warm as it ever gets! I am a fan, once a participant, in athletic games. The mile-run and cross-country running were my choices.

To be first and always a winner is not the greatest accomplishment. The prize, that one of excellence, is for the effort and the participation that brings out a person’s best. Best according to one’s training, ability and not giving up when circumstances allow it, is deserving of “the gold!”

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In Lewis Carroll’s book that we read in a junior high English class, we were given a peek at motivation. In the reading of “Through the Looking Glass,” (with a test that would follow) one may recall Alice saying,”There is no use trying. One can’t believe in impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” answers the Queen. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

One of the most quoted writers in the New Testament, along with Jesus, is the Apostle Paul. He wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” —  Phillippians 4:13. Added to that conviction is the statement by Paul in Romans 8:24-25. Hope is advanced as a virtue of excellence. “For we are saved as hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for what a person sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not; then do we with patience wait for it?”

An odd saying? Am I puzzled by it? Maybe the patience of training for the Olympics for years is the kind of patience that can receive an application for the Apostle Paul!

An article in the “Taste” section of the “Star Tribune” on July 19 included a remark under Chris Hewitt’s “Film School.” His remarks about the movies of Julianne Moore include a paragraph on the 2018 film “Gloria Bell.”

Hewitt writes, “Sebastian Lelio’s study of an indomitable woman who refuses to let life’s disappointments get her down is inspiring because Moore’s performance is such a lived-in wonder. The dejected title character hits the dance floor at a wedding when Laura Branigan’s ‘Gloria’ comes on and Lelio keeps the camera on Moore’s face as the song seems to assure her that better things are ahead. Meeting the downward slides head-on; not compromising, but sending a signal to your hidden abilities, may bring the new day to what would otherwise be a stumble.”

We must agree, a seeming failure must not be the last word. We find the support group, we phone or email the friend now living in Detroit and say, “Don’t bail me out; just assure me that I can make it.” Now that person needs to see the smog lifting.

Speaking of excellence, that word may seem elusive, ambiguous, or only for other people. My goal: Be my best!

There is a world around us to contemplate. Maybe some focused silence will create a vitalizing wind! The writer of the “Book of Psalms” must have found some excellence in her reflections:

“Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds.” – Psalm 148:9-10

By the way, don’t forget. In the present days there is a giant celebration going on. The farmers of a wide area are meeting for some wonderful “Farm Days!” The golden grain fields were cultivated by believing hands. Dream: that “gold” has been transformed. Grain has turned into a possibility. The people at the Farm Festival have a medal of gold!