Fear Of Missing Out.
It’s real. Have you ever experienced it? When all your friends are going somewhere great and you’re stuck at home with the sick kid, the big project due tomorrow, or without any money to put gas in your car. The isolation shouts, “They’re having fun without you!” FOMO happens even when things aren’t fun. When there is a tough moment and people bond around it, if you weren’t there, it feels like you missed out on something important. You are no longer on the inside and therefore you are out.
It’s why we are often glued to our phones for the latest update on social media, news stories, or why we keep one ear to the proverbial ground of happenings.
One day I was feeling particularly down, left out and isolated for one of the many seemingly silly reasons, and I thought to ask the Lord how he felt about my FOMO.
It may seem hyper spiritual or weird, but to me, I have learned to simply include the Lord in all my feelings, thoughts, and actions. Ok, when I say I include him in all, what I mean is, I intend to include the Lord in all – like right away. My intention and deep desire is to be aware of and include the Lord in every moment. But often, that looks more like swirling around the drain of some feeling or negative thought for a bit while experiencing all the pain, frustration, and other stuff associated with being human, and then going, “Oh wait! Lord, what do you have to say?!” Either way, no matter when I do it, it’s so helpful.
So, I was having this moment of FOMO and it was proving to not be life giving and producing joy in my heart, so I said to the Lord,
How do you feel about my FOMO?
To which he replied,
FOMO about them?! They should have FOMO about us!
Jesus cracks me up.
And he’s right! What the Lord and I have is awesome! I am not missing out on anything because what we have is EVERYTHING!
My attention was then turned to the very real presence of the Lord and I began to talk to him, laugh, discover, and adjust my awareness of the reality of my situation and life from God’s perspective. Suddenly it didn’t matter that I wasn’t with “them” and experiencing the latest and greatest thing. I was with HIM!
You may be thinking, what do they have that is worth FOMO? Well, when you spend time with your Creator, the one who loves you more than anyone ever could, the one who sees the best in you and believes the impossible for you, that time is far beyond what you could experience with anyone else.
But the good news is, you’re not actually missing out on what we have – you can have your own! God is always with you – yes, always. Even in the moments you think he wouldn’t or couldn’t be with you, he is. Even when you don’t feel him with you, he is. Even if you don’t believe it, he is. All you have to do is pay attention.
So what really causes that pain and fear of FOMO? Frankly, it’s when we place more weight on others than on the Lord. There is a more formal and ancient phrase used for this…. Idol worship. I know, just when you think you don’t have to worry about that commandment because you don’t have a literal shrine to a god in your home, I come along with this bomb.
However annoying, it’s still true. We hold people, things, and experiences in higher regard than the Lord. They become what we try to please, what we strive for, and what we long to have and suddenly our ladder of priorities has shifted.
FOMO has a way of revealing where our hearts have laid up treasure Matt. 6:19-20). We tend to be easily persuaded with our affections and therefore we get hurt. The Lord knows that what he offers is far greater than any earthly experience. The Lord will never quit on you. He will never disappoint you. He will never overlook you. He will never hurt you. He will far exceed all your expectations.
Your heart is safe with the Lord.
The fear of missing out is a tell. It will reveal to you what has a hold on your heart. I bless you to know that what you can have with the Lord is so good you’ll find joy in FOMO.