FOMO – ever heard of it – this new acronym that’s being tossed around in the current sociological conversation? FOMO? Is it a new ecological agency in the administration in Washington? The name for latest hair product, a new insect repellant, a warranty seal on your new air conditioner?
I promise you - this will resonate…or it will resonate with someone you know.
Prompting our attention, after the audience verbally tossed out possibilities to the speaker, she told us – FOMO is FEAR OF MISSING OUT…really? Is this an accurate take on our culture at present? Do we really fear missing out? Surely not in circles of faith…surely we have our priorities better aligned than that. We know how to say no, right? Why do we keep adding, adding, adding until we are absolutely maxed and on the edge of burn out or drop out.
Is this a cultural phenomenon? Maybe. I contend, however, that every culture, every period of history has it unique challenges toward or away from healthy soul formation. On every hand, from almost in every group - young parents, parents of teenagers, career men and women, retirees - I keep hearing the cry of overwhelming overload and schedules that have no margins and people who have no boundaries.
Somehow, somewhere we think that acute busyness will give us life; cramming in all one can possibly do or handle. Racing, racing in the fast lane trying to make every formation. And often driven by thinking the grass really is greener and if I add just this one more thing, then I will be fulfilled and happy.
Recently a youth pastor, thinking about what do you say yes to and what do you say no to, asked his high school group what gave them life. Various answers were tossed out. Toward the end one student blurted out, “I hate Facebook! When I look at how everyone else is living it makes me feel like I don’t have a life!”
What do you do when you feel like you are missing out? How do you choose what gives you life?
Jesus spoke to this when he offered this invitation to the disciples, “Come to me. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unfettered rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11: 28-30 The Message
There are no easy answers to the FOMO issue except from the One who created us and knows what will really satisfy our deepest needs, thirsts and longings. I commend Him to you as THE Resource for helping you sort it out.
“If any one is thirsty let him COME to me and drink,” John 7:37