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Faithful Fifties – Day Two

Faithful Fifties – Day Two 150 150 Nicole

faithful fifties

You may have heard of this resource called Google? Apparently, all the kids are using it these days. I jest, of course, but cannot restrain a groan when my kids lament the lack of speed with which their search tab opens and employ the term ‘google’ as a verb, and I recall those early days when we were among the first to make it our default search engine even as others clung to aol and yahoo. Those were the days…

Everything changes. Nothing changes.

So, back to Google. If you opened the homepage you might have noticed today’s #googledoodle dedicated to Esther Afua Ocloo. A remarkable Ghanaian woman, she accomplished far more before the age of 50 than I could even dream. She started a food processing business promoting Ghanaian industry and supporting local goods; became the first President of the Federation of Ghana Industries; was the first Ghanaian female Executive Chairman of the National Food and Nutrition Board of Ghana; and expanded her activity to the textile business.

It wasn’t until after Ocloo turned 50, however, that she began to work at the national and international levels to promote the economic empowerment of women. In the years that followed, she advised on a number of international boards to continue the work of supporting women’s economic autonomy worldwide, culminating in the co-founding and chairmanship of the Women’s World Banking. If that wasn’t enough, she also founded the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Madina and the Unity Group of Practical Christianity of Ghana. Oh, and she was mother to four children.

While I do not aspire to expand my sphere of influence internationally and don’t have the wherewithal to found entire industries, I am inspired by this remarkable woman to press on. When I am weary and only want to throw in the towel ruminating on how my age limits my possibilities for further substantial work, the life of Esther Afua Ocloo is a reminder to me that God holds no interest in my age—only that I remain faithful. And even when I am not, God remains faithful because God cannot deny God’s own self. (2Tm2:13) Timothy, Jeremiah, Malala Yousafzai, were young for all their work toward making things right in the world. Moses, Abraham and Sarah, and Jane Addams didn’t gain (public) traction until much later in life.

As I write this I recall the words of Susan Sontag who beautifully observes, “Time exists in order that everything doesn’t happen all at once … and space exists so that it doesn’t all happen to you.” God is not bound by time and yet God pierces time to be present with us—helping us be more ourselves—more like Jesus, making things right between us and all creation. How can I be more myself today, faithful? Jesus, help my unbelief.

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About the author


Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO, MI).

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