Our service on Sunday was led by Phil Silk. He is a member of our community and a qualified minister (in the US) although he has not had a permanent pulpit (is this how you say it?) since moving to this country many years ago. The theme was peace and he read a piece that he had written when he was 17 and still at school - not quite sure where he would have been in the US educational system. It was a marvellous piece written with great passion and depth of knowledge.
I have started writing an on-line diary - my younger brother had alerted me to one application - as usual I surfed the Internet and found another one called Penzu and signed up for that - and I started to write. I was reminded of the diaries that I kept when I was in my late teens. I have got them from my chest of treasures and have reread bits of them. I could have written them yesterday - the style and the observations.
Of course I know more now, as does Phil - but knowing more can also be accompanied by having our prejudices hardened and our cynicism more finely tuned. Observing oneself from a distance of many years it is interesting to note our abilities and thoughts at age 17 and 18. It highlights the value that young people bring to the table and the reason why we should attempt to engage more with them and just listen. We may then be able to go back in time and remember ourselves at 17 - full of enthusiasm and hope, perhaps with a view that anything is possible.