I remember vividly the summer of 1985. Fresh out of High School, the world was my oyster. I had the eyes of a dreamer and the courage drawn from a sense of personal invincibility. I had an internship with a US Congressman from New York, money in the bank and a scholarship to university. Those summer days were spent at the beach and on the golf course. The summer nights were spent hanging out with friends and listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40.
Shout was a #1 hit song for the band Tears for Fears that summer. The accompanying music video played constantly on MTV. It was certainly one of the most recognizable songs of the Eighties. I won’t go as far as to say they were a one-hit wonder, but without question Shout is the band’s signature tune. And with good reason. Its power chords, heavy percussion and mesmerizing, mantra-like lyrics pull you in:
Shout, shout, let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on, I’m talking to you, come on
But don’t let this simple chorus fool you. Shout was song about political protest. It was born out of the political, economic and cultural upheaval happening across the globe in the waning years of the Cold War. It was basically an encouragement to protest.
This song played over and over in my head as I took in the events of last week’s Inauguration and the protests and marches that accompanied it. Lots of shouting wouldn’t you say?
We human shout for dozens of reasons. We shout at cars when they cut us off. We shout at sporting matches to cheer on our team. We shout when we are surprised. We shout when we are excited. We shout when we are happy. But we also shout when we are angry, disappointed and afraid.
Psalm 27:6 reveals the heart of King David of Israel. He says, “I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy.” Doesn’t that seem an odd pairing? Shouting in connection to the offering of sacrifices? I like what Paul David Tripp says commenting on this verse: “In so doing, David reveals what is really important to him. It is important to him to admit who he is…to humbly embrace the reality of how deep and consistent his problem with sin actually is.” He goes on to say, “…in your life there are things that make you shout, and what you shout reveals something about what is going on in your heart.”
I hadn’t ever made that connection before. Shouting really does reveal what is important to me. When I shout for my favorite football team, it reveals something about my passion for the team. When I shout at a fellow driver, it too, says something about what I value. When I shout at one of my children or my wife, it reveals a frustration, insecurity or fear within me. When I shout at God…well, you get the picture.
Here’s the uncomfortable truth: In my life there are things that make me shout and what makes me shout reveals something about who or what is ruling and reigning in my heart.
What makes you shout?