Pastor’s Corner: People are Not Steam Boilers

February 9, 2022

People are not steam boilers.

You heard it here first, folks.

Steam boilers – well, safe steam boilers – have a feature called a safety valve. Heating water to steam increases the pressure inside the cylinder of a boiler. Continuing to heat the steam raises the pressure even more. If the heat is not reduced and if the pressure is not released, the pressure will eventually exceed the boiler’s strength. Those failures can be pretty dramatic – and dangerous.

The safety valve is designed so that a pressure above that needed for work, but below one that will split the boiler, will open the valve and release steam until the pressure has fallen again. Boiler operators will see a cloud of steam and they may hear a whistle. They may then adjust the heat or other valves for more precise control. The idea is to keep the boiler in condition to do work – to drive turbines or cylinders – without drama and danger.

People are not steam boilers. But… we do know something about internal pressures, don’t we?

The problem is that humans relax – release pressure – not just in different ways from steam boilers, but also from other people. Worse, the obvious method, to scream and stomp around, doesn’t work for a very large number of people. For a lot of humanity, the “primal scream” winds them up rather than calming them down.

I cannot overstress the important of knowing what soothes your soul. What help you let go of the stresses? What helps you center your mind? What helps you find peace? What restores your soul?

Is it an experience of beauty? Is it laughter? Is it a certain kind of prayer? Is it reading? Is it companionship? Is it even a primal scream?

What restores your soul?

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

The image shows a locomotive on the Beeches Light Railway in Steeple Aston, England, with steam being released by its safety valves. Photo by Chris Allen, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on February 10, 2022

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply

close window

Service Times & Directions

Sunday School Classes

Sunday 8:45 am

Sunday Worship Service

Sunday 10:00 am

Adult Bible Study

Monday 6:30 pm, Wednesday 9:00 am

(International Young Adults Association)
Bible Study

Wednesday 7:30 pm

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

(The Rev. Tevita) Sunday 1:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 pm (Sanctuary)

The United Church of Christ, Pohnpei - Hilo

(The Rev. Ichiro) Sunday 10:00 am (Bdg. of Faith)

The Samoan Church

(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

440 W. Lanikaula Street
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-1283