Trust in God is no more realistic and rewarding than trust in Santa Claus.
After all, the concept of God and believing in God's existence is merely childhood fantasy grown up, because God is nothing more than Santa Claus for adults.
Think about it. Occasionally, some very old people will be singled out on television, and many times one of them is likely to say, "I attribute my long life to clean living, good health and trust in God." If they are born-again Christians, they might say "trust in Jesus" instead, but think how substituting "Santa Claus" for either one makes absolutely no difference to the validity that the trust had anything to do with the person's longevity and absolutely nothing to the validity of the existence of any of those named individuals.
Look at the similarities: Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and all of Santa's elves live up at the North Pole, and their only reason for being is to reward good little boys and girls one night a year by giving them presents. And when does Santa do this? On Christ's birthday!
God, Jesus, the angels and every good person who has ever been rewarded with eternal life lives up in Heaven just waiting for new souls to come on up and live forever. And when does this happen? On each "saved" person's death!
Depending on the religion or denomination, people are rewarded with an all-expenses-paid, free trip to Heaven for their good deeds on earth, for "accepting Jesus Christ as their savior" or merely for believing that God exists.
Santa Claus keeps a list, checks it twice and knows who has been naughty or nice in the past year, which he uses to reward those who have been "good" with presents and to punish those who have been "bad" with either no presents or a lump of coal in some cultures. And what do we associate coal with? Hot burning fire!
Have you ever known anyone who actually did receive only a lump of coal for Christmas, or is that just an empty threat that parents use to try to keep their children in line?
Santa Claus has lots of impersonators during the Christmas season standing on corners ringing their bells and collecting money and sitting in malls in order to let little children sit on their laps and tell them what they want for Christmas.
God has lots of churches throughout the year on practically every corner collecting money every Sunday or whenever a service is held and plenty of representations of either Jesus nailed to a cross or the Virgin Mary, Christ's mother, God's concubine, to which people can pray and tell them what special favor they would like.
This is where the Santa Claus myth is lacking. Astute creators and perpetuators of the myth should have thought to have given Santa a son so that Santa Jr. and Mrs. Claus could stand on corners and sit in malls to relieve some of the burden during the holidays, which, of course, comes from "holy days."
Santa Claus uses the parents of the children to make them be good for their rewards, punish them as need be throughout the year, make empty promises about what they might get on Christmas morning and then make the actual purchases, hide them in closets, wrap them neatly and finally place them underneath the tree for the excited and eager children to find on Christmas morning.
God uses priests, preachers and other self-anointed representatives to "guide" the people, relay God's words and intentions to them throughout the year, convey special requests if need be back up to God, make empty promises about what they might expect upon their deaths and then finally perform the memorial services for those people when they do die.
Trust in Santa Claus is expedient for parents to encourage their young children, because the promise of presents for good behavior and threats of no presents or that lump of coal for bad behavior is another tool in the parents' bag of parenting tricks.
However, when children reach the age of about six, they should be clever enough to figure out on their own how all the contradictions and illogical details in the Santa Claus myth enable them to conclude that there is no Santa Claus and their parents have been misleading them all those years, even though their parents will claim that it was "for their own good."
I rest my case.