• Eirenicole

To Be Still And To See Clearly

To Be Still And To See Clearly 150 150 Nicole

Why do my thoughts wander so? Why can I not keep my inner eye on the One who fills me and gives me life? When I was younger I could spend hours in prayer and meditation, filling my journals and interceding for others. Now I can scarcely go two minutes without my mind flitting off in myriad directions, all of the “necessary” things that need to be accomplished. In some ways I feel as if I am a child again, needing guidance, assistance in my prayers.
            Thankfully, there are many resources at my disposal. How often I encourage others to use them, but neglect their use myself. I think, “I am beyond the need for them” yet find I am worse off than before. Certainly, my life is filled to capacity with concerns and obligations—nothing in comparison to my college years when all I needed to do was keep up my course work and listen to God’s direction in friendships and decisions for the future—for myself—no one else depending on me. Now, with four children and a husband who just lost his job—and all that surrounds that—my oldest preparing for college and just having moved….

            So, to steer my mind back to the center, to the place where Jesus is—with me as I truly am—is, well, difficult. Pray-as-you-go.org, though meant to be used for bringing meditation to one while traveling, is perfect to keep my mind focused on scripture and what the Spirit is meaning to impress on me concerning God’s presence, Jesus’ movement in and around me. So, now, I have decided to rely on this tool to encourage this new practice (though not new entirely, just new to my current situation).
            Today’s focus was on Matt 7:1-5, and seeing clearly only after the Spirit removes my own plank. But, to see clearly is to see with God’s eyes, to see as I have been made truly—that is, with grace and love. To see clearly means to notice everything with love. Even in this situation of being so wronged, it has happened because of deep hurt and pain that these others have sustained and know not how else to communicate and respond—and make decisions. To see clearly means that I see that God moves in our lives the way that God intended to regardless of how others interfere with this movement in our lives. So, to see clearly is to trust that though it looks like our lives and livelihood has been completely derailed, it is in actuality precisely on the right track. And, I marvel. The last detail—that Howie be offered a job that will support our family such that we can keep this house we only just signed a mortgage on—is one stop on the track that is already there. To see clearly is to trust this. To see clearly is to refrain from the temptation to be angry with those who force the track in a different direction. Though they may have not been seeing clearly themselves, God redeems all things and moves such that it matters not what others choose—only that I choose to allow the Spirit to remove the log/plank/speck from my eyes. And, that I see clearly.

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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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