Marvin Repinski: In our times, can we still have expectations

Published 6:09 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

“The people were filled with expectation.” (The Bible, Luke 3:15)

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord will be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:45)

Trust is one of the biggest words in our vocabulary. We are now living in a time when it seems like there is a crisis on every continent. I’m looking at a map. Are there any places where the grim and destructive actions make it easy to trust? Our best mental states and efforts are worldwide in times of trial.

Are we candidates for putting our energies toward changing our mental state and encouraging others? I have read the words of Charles Dickens — maybe you have also — a dozen times. In his novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” these lines have an application in which we feel the dislocation and the possibility. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.”

These days seem taken from the days of the French Revolution. It becomes apparent that the atmosphere of England, France, and allied nations are similar to Ukraine. Numerous nations have joined to halt the maddening slaughter of a nation that just happens to have borders with Russia. We ask, even in our own nations, does violence have to have the last word?

Many of us who trust in a Divine guidance in this world, are in a place of puzzlement! Is it possible to bring forth the virtue of trust? And you may ask, “Marvin, in what, who, why do we trust?” The brick walls are the recipient of my bumping head, like so many heads!

We ask for sanity, we venture the means of peace, we pray that the end of planned insanity has some closure. Leaders of Russia, are you willing to read the observations of Charles Dickens? Do you realize that you are writing an old story? Those who hurt others will eventually also hurt themselves. A seemingly absent justice will eventually come out of the shadows!

Trust in a stable future, a time of free discourse, a time of owning your own property was a part of the message of those who enabled persons in slavery to find new lives. My writing is for those, who among other topics and themes, read history. I am reading again of the life of Harriet Tubman. Hopefully, in the debates over books in our public schools, some books on slavery will not be disallowed. Ms. Tubman escaped slavery, made possible by what is termed the “Underground Railroad.” She became known as “Moses” because of her devoted work at bringing hundreds of persons out of slavery. The religious convictions strengthened her to both risk her life many times and some of her writing by her and about her survival. Her life must be remembered. Ms. Tubman, as her writings reveal, was a strong wise person who received the trust of others. What an example for each person!

Of the tasks ahead, we may turn to a paragraph that empowered the British. Winston Churchill said in the dark days of 1941: “We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar dandy.”

We wish to have our children raised in places where trusting, love, and a spirit of forgiveness may be nurtured. We connect them to places of learning and delightful examples.

About church-going — it may apply to other organizations too — an observation: “A Sunday School teacher asked the children, ‘Why is it necessary to be quiet in church?’ One of the brightest of the group replied, ‘Because people are sleeping.’”

Another way to look at behavior is this story: “Six-year old Angie and her four-year old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.” “Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, “See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers.”

Moving right along — humor does not have to reside in this essay (a little bit of it!), but if you ride along in the car driven by the humorist Al Batt and his neighbor Bruce, you may be given laughter every week!

A few years ago Mr. Batt brought information, laughter, and interesting stories to the Fellowship Methodist Church where I pastored. It has since merged with the First United Methodist Church of Austin. The entertaining time with Al can be lifted out in dozens, maybe one-hundred plus venues, where lovable presentations have brought enthusiastic raves.

The column Al writes for the Wednesday edition of the Austin Daily Herald will always bring you up-to-date on what is current. Thank you, Al.

And then to close. Was it a neighbor of Al’s who as a youngster prayed? “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.” Always trust the children to get the words right!