False hope is a huge industry. Like any narcotic, it provides a temporary high as one is consuming it and shortly thereafter. But then sobriety returns and crashes the party.
This is the brand of optimism that bypasses reality. It holds to the miracle while turning a blind eye to the suffering under its nose.
And we eat it up. Because as vulnerable beings, we can’t bear to face that stuff. Nope.
Blind optimism puts God in the business of producing happy endings.
[Note: As with any case, you can substitute ‘God’ with ‘life’. So blind optimism puts life in the business of producing happy endings. The happy ending becomes the thing we hold our lives hostage to — namely our relationships to self, others, and the world around us.]
Meanwhile, we’re alone with the mess of the world.
This way of looking at the world conflicts with lived experience. Happy endings come so naturally in television and movies, but human life is much more complex.
False hope bypasses reality. True hope acknowledges and transcends it.
Pure hope doesn’t override pain. It acknowledges and transcends it. Its focus is more on sustaining than escaping. It says, Lord, sustain me through these times. If I’m in pain, I pray this ends, but I need you with me in this mess. If I’m not in pain, bring vibrancy and color to the mundane moments.
True hope invites the divine in no matter how far from our ego ideal our lives have gotten. And when we invite God in — in time — we’re healed and restored.
No happy ending necessary.