We love travelling to a nearby city to visit the science centre. And when we arrive, we always buy tickets for one of the special science shows. Last time we paid to see the Liquid Nitrogen Show. At the appropriate hour, we filed into the theatre with a few other people and took our seats on the tiered steps. A few moments later, the presenter, dressed in her cool chemistry t-shirt, bounced into the room with a huge smile on her face. And then for the next half an hour, she enjoyed flinging question after question at us while amazing us with her liquid nitrogen tricks.
When the show was over, I turned to my family and said in a low voice, “I felt like I was back at school. I didn’t want to look at the presenter in case she directed her questions at me.” The rest of my family nodded. Sophie said, “I thought she was supposed to tell us about nitrogen. We were there to hear her talk, not answer questions.”
I remember how uncomfortable I felt when I was a child and my teacher asked questions. Her eyes would roam around the room looking for her next victim. She never chose the child who wanted to answer. Always, she picked on the students who tried to be invisible. Like me. Even though I knew the answers, I didn’t like to be forced to give one.
Some people aren’t designed for the school environment. They’re also not designed for science shows with overbearing presenters. And they are certainly not suited for spiritual talks with speakers who insist you yell out, “Amen!” loudly at regular intervals.
“Hey, girls, I found some great podcasts on the Cradio site. You’ll enjoy them. The speaker is Dr Mark Nimo. Oh my, he’s enthusiastic. He doesn’t let his audience sit there quietly. He keeps shouting such things as ‘Do you understand what I’m saying? Do I hear an amen?'”
We imagine having to yell out, ‘Amen!’ at the tops of our voices. It’s just not us.
I sometimes wonder why some people are happy to dance, jump, sway, sing loudly, wave their arms in the air or shout, ‘Amen!’ at regular intervals in a group situation while others, like us, prefer to stay quiet. Could it be a cultural thing? Or perhaps it has a lot to do with our personalities. I’m also wondering if we should cast our embarrassment aside and just go with the spirit. Should we let our joy overflow in a public way? Or is it okay for us to be quietly joyful? Different things for different people?
Whatever type of person you are, it’s likely you and your teenage/young adult children will, like me, enjoy Dr Mark Nimo’s series of talks. Maybe you’ll be carried along by the Holy Spirit who is obviously inspiring his every word. You might wish you could have been at the recent Immaculata Mission School when he presented his talks.
But if you’re like us and you don’t feel comfortable being asked to shout out ‘Amen!’ every few minutes, don’t worry. The speaker is safely on the other side of the podcast. He’ll never know if you sit quietly and listen and don’t yell out a response even once. Though you might feel like doing so inside your head.
Here are the links to the talks:
“Do I hear an amen?”
Oh yes, you do! In my own quiet way, I agree with everything Dr Nimo says. Like him, I want to go out there and be a radical disciple of Jesus Christ.
What about you? Perhaps you do too.