Today, 15 years ago, I preached my first sermon.
It was an evening service at Carletonville Methodist Church. My supervisor, Rev. (now Dr.) Dion Forster sat in the front pew. I was 16 years old and preached about faith. I was sure I knew what faith was, how God called us to faith and that faith had absolutely nothing to do with what we know.
I had a very clear picture of God in my mind and my preaching was filled with conviction. Theologians were doomed to hell, and so were homosexuals, drunkards and anyone who didn't believe as I did. My God was ready to kick some backside!
I wonder what I would have said to myself if I had the opportunity to meet the present "me". I wonder what I would say to the me of the past if I had the opportunity to meet myself-of-old.
Strange thing is, that I do meet my old self in many others, who are just as convinced and passionate about their views as what I used to be.
Time has taught me to listen more carefully, because the me of the future might even struggle to have a decent conversation with the me of the present.
Time has taught me about grace and graciousness.
I do not doom the me of the past. I celebrate today, because it reminds me that I will continue to grow and that the Lord's pruning sheers are active in this life.