I’m pretty positive but positivity really annoys me. That sort of blind chirpy hope despite the reality. Being really positive just seems to be the same thing as being stupid or deluded a lot of the time. The reason it can sound like that is people are very quick to ignore all the painful bits and the awkward stuff, to deny the challenges they face.
I’ve been watching loads of House repeats recently and it’s reminded me that one of the things I loved about that show is it’s painful hope. House is not a character who wants to be miserable. He is miserable most of the time and he is usually trapped in that misery but he doesn’t want to be miserable. We may call him childish and intolerable and an ass but almost all of what he does is to make himself happier or a better doctor.
In reality hope doesn’t live in a vacuum, it is mixed in with fear and doubt. That’s why overly cheerful unceasingly optimistic people get on my nerves, they just must be so lucky that nothing bad has ever happened to them or they are refusing to live in a world where pain and loss define us as much as happiness or love.
Christians especially should know that. Jesus gave up the right hand of God to come to Earth and live for us and then suffer and die for us. He knew from the word go there would be suffering and pain in his life. He also had a wonderful hope, he knew that what he was doing was worth it, that what he endured was necessary, that it would all work out.
So when you are tempted to think everything is going to be beautiful and easy be grateful that it is now but be aware that it will not always be. When you are tempted to give up under the weight of pain and cynicism and loss cry out to God for help but do not for one second think that pain is all that life can be.