Lance Armstrong and the Loss of Hope

To have hope is a curious thing. It can change everything – perspective, attitude, desire, even improve health. Hope is a powerful, but that is also what makes it so dangerous. When we place our hope in something that ultimately fails, our hope will also fail.

Today’s news of Lance Armstrong stepping down as chairman of Livestrong and being let go by Nike is a reminder of how fragile hope is. Armstrong was a great source of hope for many people suffering with cancer. His recovery from cancer and triumphs in cycling were more than a great story, they gave people strength to fight, a desire to win, even the promise of victory. This is why the recent report of his decade long use of performance enhancing drugs and his involvement in their cover-up is such a big deal. To those whose hope is found in Lance Armstrong this is not the fall of another athlete, the loss of some cycling victories, or the tarnishing of a reputation – it is the failure of their hope. Just read the comments on the stories about Lance on ESPN or some other site, it does not take long to find someone we want to say is way too emotionally involved in this story, but when we realize it is not a story to them, but their source of hope, it comes it to focus. They did not lose a hero, they lost hope!

It ultimately leads us to ask questions, Where is my hope found? Will my source of hope ultimately fail? What will happen to me if I lose hope?