I Wish I Had A Hall Pass | Have A Little Faith with Nadia Bolz-Weber
We’re all guilty of playing hooky every once in a while— but Nadia Bolz-Weber warns to not check out of dealing with, well, life
[MUSIC PLAYING] NADIA: There were a few months of my life I came down with like, just a touch of hypochondria. I was a stay at home mom with a baby and a toddler. I was exhausted all the time and got sick a lot. And I started to think that something was seriously wrong with me. And secretly, without being totally conscious of it, I really hoped something was seriously wrong with me, nothing fatal.
And then I could kind of get a hall pass. A hospital stay started to look awesome. I mean, someone else would bring me food and I could lay around all day watching TV and taking narcotics. What's not to love, right?
But after ending up in my doctor's office for the third time in six weeks, my doctor looked me in the eye. And god bless him he said, Nadia nothing's wrong with you. You just have to deal with your life. So as a side note I never went back to that doctor. But I've remained grateful that he dared to not play along with my story.
So there's this story in the Bible where Jesus encounters a man who was ill. And had been sitting next to a pool of healing water for 38 years. And Jesus asks him this really harsh question. He goes, do you want to be made well? And the guy just says that he tries to get into the waters but other people always get in his way.
I've started thinking about how hard it is to be honest about the payoffs we get from the things we say we want to be free from. When I was drinking I'd bemoan my hangovers and the fact that I couldn't manage to keep a decent job. But there was a payoff. I got to live without any real responsibility. And I got to be inebriated whenever the results of my bad decisions started feeling bad.
Some of us spend money we don't have on things we don't need. Which boosts our mood until we get the bills, which is then so depressing we have to start the whole damn thing over again. And shop more just to boost our mood again. All while we complain about being in debt. It's like clutching our bills and having Jesus walk by and say, do you really want to be free from debt? Jesus is just the worst sometimes.
But to the man who was sitting at the healing pool for 38 years not only does he say, do you want to be made well? He also says, stand up, take your mat, and walk. You already have everything you need. Stop waiting for someone to carry you. Stop waiting for other people to not be in your way.
I'm not saying that with enough faith you can heal yourself. Or somehow pull your life up by the bootstraps. Sometimes there's not much we can do about the shit life hands us. I'm just saying that one aspect of faith is that we get to heal even from the story we tell ourselves about why we don't have what we say we want. In other words, we get to just deal with our lives.