The other day my wife and I were watching a TV series that we have grown to enjoy. I casually thought out loud “I wonder how it will end?” I wondered if they would kill off the main character. Would they have him ride off into the sunset? What about the other characters in the series? For shock value perhaps they would try to kill off some of the more popular characters. I don’t know and honestly I hope that season is a long ways off. It always seems like when I find a series I enjoy, that I discover it about two seasons before it ends.
But in the discussion my wife made a comment “I hope it has a happy ending because I like happy endings.” Interesting thought. Don’t we all? I recall movies that didn’t have happy endings. They would then offer an alternative ending that would be the happy ending the audience wanted. This is a desire that we all have though isn’t it? Why is that?
I would think that it is there because it is built into our nature. It is part of who we are as humans. The desire of an ending that ends in happiness comes from us being made in the image of God. It isn’t a recent desire that somehow crept into our minds. It is part of who we are. We long as a creation for that day when there will be no more tears and no more pain. We look at the world around us and we know that it can be better. And we are right to think that way because when we do we are thinking in line with how God has created us.
We look for heroes because God has built into our nature a desire to be saved from our estate of sin and misery. We also like the happy ending of a story because it points us to the reality that we long for in our lives. A reality that will be happy.
This is what we have historically referred to as Utopia. An ideal and perfect place, socially, politically and morally. The term comes from a novel by Sir Thomas More in 1518. In this novel he creates a society that is free from problems. Even a basic knowledge of history will help you understand the context he is writing in. The ironic thing is that Utopia in greek means “no place”. As if More knew that this wasn’t going to happen on earth. Not as long as humans are on earth anyway.
But why not? Why can’t Utopia be achieved on earth? Philosophers in the 1800s concluded that it was possible with education. Some would conclude that with education we wouldn’t need to hear from the Creator. We could use our own rationality to arrive at a way to live apart from “divine law”. This idea would be promulgated throughout Europe and by the turn of the century, the world would experience the two most destructive wars in history. What went wrong?
In their efforts to achieve “heaven on earth” they removed the creator. They stopped listening to what God had revealed in Scripture and listened to their own corrupt reasoning. It will be a reality but it will be a reality that happens in God’s time. Christ is the hero and he brings with him a kingdom. When we have those moments of wanting a happy ending in a movie or show, we should remember that God made us that way for a reason. To long for that day when we will see him face to face.