The Narcissist's Footnote | Have A Little Faith with Nadia Bolz-Weber
When you find yourself in times of trouble, may Nadia Bolz-Weber's words of wisdom come to mind. Pontius Pilate? Footnote. Your depression? Footnote. Student loans? Footnote. The forces that seem to control you are just a footnote in the story of your life.
NADIA BOLZ-WEBER: At different times in my life there were forces that felt so powerful and totally in control-- my addiction, my unhealthy relationship, my horrible boss, my anxiety, and depression. At the time, these things felt inescapable, like they would always rule me. So back in Jesus' day, there were these emperors who've ruled for a certain number of years, and then they didn't. It's one reason I'm kind of obsessed with how the story of Jesus is set up. When the Bible says, in the 15th year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea and Herod was ruler of Galilee-- and during the high priest of these dudes who were high priests, the word of God didn't come to a damn one of them. But during their reign, I imagined it also felt like they would always rule. Those whose power, at the time they were alive, felt so absolute are only a footnote to Jesus. Given that list of emperors and rulers, I wonder if he was preaching to an anxious people needing some hope in that context-- real hope not platitudes or cheerful sentiment. I say this because there are things happening in our world right now that make me and a lot of people I love very anxious. So maybe we can pray for the conversion of our anxiety. Because when anxiety is converted, you know what it becomes? It becomes hope. Which means if you have anxiety now, you are almost hopeful-- you're like super close. You remember that list of emperors and rulers at the beginning of the gospel, the ones who were so feared and powerful at the time. The only reason these tiny, so-called "powerful" men are even remembered at all 2000 years later is as a footnote. So here's my prayer for those of us who are so anxious that we're nearly hopeful. Let's all name every single thing and person that seems so powerful right now as to feel inescapable-- rulers, tyrants, societal forces, et cetera-- name them and then say footnote. Pontius Pilate-- footnote. Your depression-- footnote. Student loans-- footnote. The gun lobby-- footnote. Power hungry narcissists of every variety-- footnote.