Refrain from Vocalizing Loudly

Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31, NRSV)

I love roller coasters. When I was a youth director during college, I always found a way to take my youth group to an amusement park. I thought it was amazing to be paid to ride roller coasters for a day. All I had to do was get 25 young people back home in one piece!

However, the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park near Tokyo recently made an unorthodox request for its roller coaster riders when it reopened. “Please scream inside your heart,” and not out loud. The unusual ask is meant to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus. But what I love most is the promotional video that features two stone-faced, suit-wearing, and completely silent executives riding the Fujiyama roller coaster, the park’s main attraction.

I do not know about you, but the idea of not getting to scream and let loose on a roller coaster is very counterintuitive to my fun side. However, “screaming inside my heart” is very much in line with the last few months for me.

Two weeks ago, I hit my emotional wall. I just hit that moment where I had grown weary of social distancing and preaching to an empty room. Fortunately, I was able to move past it with the help of good friends and colleagues, but it was emotionally exhausting. I guess you could say that I was “screaming inside my heart.”

I do not know if you need to scream out loud or inside your heart or somewhere in-between. But no matter what, please remember that regardless of where you are on this journey or what you wish to scream — God is with us and will carry us through this roller coaster we call life.

Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor
Senior Minister

Prayer Focus: Those battling depression.
Loving God, help me know that you are always with me.