By Thobi Sithole
I am writing to you as a young dude with many hopes and dreams and as I have told some of my close friends, “I have no idea of what awaits me out there because of the innumerable possibilities in life I’m yet to explore”. This does not excuse me from the present reality of this moment in time; a time I have been called to. My prayer is that I’m not misunderstood and that this becomes helpful to you as you read something of my heart concerning my life, this time and your life.
I grew up in the not so dusty streets of Leondale and was influenced by the township culture of Zola where I use to visit as a young boy. I was raised by my grandmother, which seems to be the trend with many Black African families. She tried her best to instil some Christian virtues by taking me to a place that didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t enjoy it to the point of resentment because the last time I saw my grandfather alive was when he was going to church. As soon as I had the ability to contrive methods of excusing myself from church, I was out of there faster than you could say Amen. Life as a teen was a downward spiral where I had my fair share of alcohol abuse, baby daddy issues, sexual escapades and the list goes on. The influence of the church could have played a role in guiding me away from such, but to save me from what was a fully immersed sinful life and a heart far away from its Maker was beyond the scope of my church. Even when I was within the culture of church at some point, I was still far away from who my Maker is.
I asked myself how the mentioned makes sense to this article, and I realised that we as humans never choose where we are born, who our parents are, who dies and does not and where our guardians choose to live. These things shape the lense we view life with as well as our worldview. They play a role in how we pursue life and its challenges.
The life I chose to live was as a result of my early childhood predicament which affected most of my teen years, till I had another option presented to me in different occasions in my life. Christ the turning point of my life, the super hero I needed as a boy, the one who would get me out of the guilt of my sin and return me to my Maker.
This brings me to this time, a time where there is a need for leadership that honours Biblical values, addresses current challenges and conscious of its cultural context. This is a time where communities have no men, where children lack heroes and women are vulnerable. I have been called to be sensitive to people and situations that break God’s heart. To proclaim relief, instil hope and give new perspective with a message that did exactly that for me to be a preacher of the gospel.
As for you, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. You can never have a fulfilling purpose unless it is fashioned by your maker, newness is only found in Him, in Christ a time such as this can never be the same.