There is a recent cultural phenomenon known as the “Fear of Missing Out” or “FOMO.” “Urban Dictionary” defines this phenomenon as “The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.” Someone who is constantly looking at social media on their smart-phones to make sure they don’t miss out on anything can further characterize FOMO. Another characteristic of FOMO is the ever-constant “selfie,” where someone uses their smartphone to take pictures of themselves to capture the event that they are afraid of missing out on. Speaking of selfies, this past week an article I read reported that deaths associated with selfies are now more common than those associated with shark attacks. There are several teenagers whose lives I am genuinely concerned over due to this article.
All of this talk of FOMO and selfies serves as a sad commentary of the times in which we live; but if you wade through all of this, you are left with one inescapable point. As Christians, we should have a fear of missing out on certain things in this life here on earth. Jesus Christ left his children with marching orders for our time here; and, day after day, Christians are missing out. For the next few moments, let’s consider some things we are missing out on as Christians and how to remedy that situation.
#1 We are missing out on opportunities to share our faith.
In the Great Commission, Jesus states the following, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
As a nation, we are more mobile now than we have ever been. It is not uncommon for men and women to wake up in their homes only to board a plane and go across the globe on business. Pearland is a bedroom community with commuters going in every direction for work; and, yes, through the blessing and curse of social media, you don’t even have to leave your home to be involved in something halfway across the world. The sad fact of the matter is that as mobile as we are we have become isolated to the point where we don’t even perceive what is going on around us (no wonder people are dying taking selfies). As God’s people, we cannot afford to miss out on opportunities to share our faith with those we meet as we go out into the world. The solution, simply put: Look up every once in a while and become aware of who and what is going on around you.
#2 We are missing out on opportunities to be still and know God.
The Psalmist wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10.
Along with being so mobile, we have also become busier than we ever been as a nation. With all of that busyness comes the inability to be still and know God. It is in the stillness that comes with knowing God through the study of his word that we truly come to understand God’s will in and for our lives.
# 3 We are missing out on human relationships.
In Genesis we read, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18.
This is, of course, speaking of the husband/wife relationship between Adam and Eve; but the principle is solid: God intended for us to have relationships. In all of our connectivity that exists in the 21st century, we have forgotten how to have relationships with people; and relationships are the cornerstone for sharing our faith with the lost of this world.
I have FOMO, but not about missing a social gathering. I fear I am missing out on God-given opportunities. Today the advice I give to myself and to all of you is the following: look up every once in a while or life is going to pass you by and you’re going to wonder why you wasted all those years.
Be Strong and Courageous,