Marvin Repinski: Involved with others moves me to involvement with myself

Published 5:10 pm Friday, April 1, 2022

“Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (her) and he (she) with me.”  (Bible, Revelation 3:20).

“Writing down the minutes of a meeting is like sorting a stamp collection at a distance without a magnifying glass.”  (Rick Young, Secretary of the Austin Symphony Board).

“Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount.  And the tigers are getting hungry.”  (Winston Churchill, 1874-1965).

“Marriage is like a journey. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”  (John Steinbeck)

“Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.”  (Mae West)

Building on the above quotations, I suggest we look at one journey, our trip, our trail. Where are we going?

“What matters,” wrote the novelist, Emily Bronte, “is that all around — danger and grief and darkness lie. If but within our bosom’s bound, we hold a bright unsullied sky.”

A few years ago when I was the chairperson of the United Methodist Church’s Nominating Committee — a statewide office that involved over a hundred positions, I suggested some guidelines and responses. Seeking available candidates for various boards and agencies, requires keen skills.  Reasons one may hear when asking people to participate in the invitation process are as follows:

“I have to ask my husband (or wife).”

“The hour of the meeting conflicts with my home schedule.”   

“My husband won’t let me go out at night.”

“If women become too active, men will drop out of church leadership.”

“But I’m not qualified.”

“Is there a reimbursement for time and travel?”

“May I speak to the former person in the position?”

“I don’t know much about the Bible.”

“I’m not good at taking down minutes.”

“Do the tasks involve computer work?”

“Will meetings always be in the Twin Cities?”

“How will  I respond when a person turns me down?”

Being involved in ways of life, tasks and opportunities are more and more a process and the process contributes to better health. Of course, there are exceptions, but a book I’m reading, “Take Care of Yourself” by two doctors, Vickery and Fries, is a kind of coaching manual.

A conviction that is shared is:  “Psychologists use the term ‘self-image’ in order to avoid some of the negative associations of the term ‘pride,’ but this is really what it is. ‘Pride’ is a vice, but having a good ‘self image’ is a virtue. You must think well of yourself. Pride can take almost any form, such as pride in personal appearance, maintenance of a home, family, friends, work, a hobby, play. There are things that you do well. Be proud of what you do.”

Now is possibly the time to do what you have been planning to do. Our health and the manner in which we think of the world engage one another and maintain, at least a minimal healthy body and mind, is our goal. We live with war in Ukraine, with knowledge of all the destruction in this world, but we still must take care of ourselves and others. Are there any options?

In March 1924, a boy drove through deep snow drifts to get to the home of Ida Foss in Hopkins, Minnesota (don’t forget the name Foss!). The boy was bringing in big news.  The Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association had just announced the winner of its contest to name its sweet cream butter, and Ida’s entry “Land O’ Lakes” had won.  Ida and her husband, Edward, were astounded to hear the news. Nearly 100,000 entries had poured into the association’s mailbox. It was the only one idea that Ms. Foss contributed — it was “Land O’ Lakes,” a company that still places its products on our tables!

What is possible with a life lived with intentional persistent care?

About Jesus: “They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this that even the wind and the waves obey him?  (Bible, Matthew 8:27)