New Year’s FOMO
We are beginning a new year, more precisely the 2019th year of our Lord. I believe it is a helpful reminder that this fact continually be brought back into perspective. We have another year to advance His kingdom as His subjects. In the meantime, we set goals to then accomplish, we set resolution in hopes to fulfill, yet we have all experienced that as the year goes on, we get distracted, discouraged and eventually give up on what we set out to accomplish in the first place. Many of us establish these goals, whatever they may be, because we are inspired to be like those we admire. Those we admire tend to be successful based off their achievements. Unfortunately, what we don’t see is the many hours of dedication and sacrifices along the way. This is true in all aspects of life regarding our physical, financial, intellectual, relational and spiritual health.
Personally, if I spend any amount of time on social media, which is not very much, I see what other people are doing compared to what I am not doing. While I am glad to see that other people are hitting their targets, I begin to realize that I have a growing fear of not only doing nothing, but also that I may be becoming or already am a failure who amounts to a nobody. There is a developing FOMO (fear of missing out) that only seems to lead to more emptiness, more defeat, more anxiety, more lack of trust in God, and ultimately a misplaced identity in my supposed subjection to Him who reigns.
Is FOMO such a bad thing after all? It seems that everything is a matter of perspective, right? If you have a fear of missing out on what your friends are doing, compared to what you’re not doing, then your identity is shifted from His will to your own will. When we lack self-control and take our eyes off Him who is our goal, we resort to the carnal and natural self- seeking will, which in turn only causes unfruitfulness in our lives. How do we measure unfruitfulness? Are we abiding in Him and obeying Him when He speaks?
What if we had a fear of missing out on what God wanted to say to us or do through us, but we’re prevented because of distractions provided by our constant access to our phones and other devices? Do we have a fear of missing out on dedicated time in God’s word today because of the revelation that He might have given to us? Do we have a fear of missing out on our dedicated prayer time because we believe God in His sovereignty works through our intercessions and begging? Do we have a fear of missing out on our immediate relationships due to our reoccurring negligence of involving ourselves in superficial friendships on social media?
In all your goal settings and resolutions this year, I pray you find this a brotherly call to action in what truly matters: A healthy fear of missing out on your personal relationship with the Lord and your neighbor.
Trenton is an intern with Media Talk 101 and has a desire to get people thinking about media through the lens of a Biblical worldview. He, his wife Faith, and their two children live in northwestern Illinois.