the fear of missing out is something that’s always been around, but perhaps has become an exponentially greater influence in recent years. We have a lot of social media these days that allow us to live highly connected lives intertwined with one another.
It is a phenomenon of our culture today in how much value we place in “what we do” and when we do it. For many of us we live our lives through a lense of what we do and what others are up to; often times the fear of missing out drives us to do nonsense things and take unnecessary detours in this journey called life.
What if the fear of missing out wasn’t simply an event or singular moment in our lives? What if the fear of missing out is actually a long run problem that many of us fail to recognize until it’s too late? It’s easy to manage our day to day behavior because it is quantifiable in the ways that we go about doing our business. But long term, not so much.
Did you ever think throughout the last ten years the things you could have done different? I do so in a healthy way every so often. For me, the mistakes I have made in the last ten years were all mostly things that could have been avoided had I just stayed the course set for me and listened to the people that had experienced life prior to when all my detours happened.
While life is certainly a process of sifting through our own deceit and figuring out how to pursue righteousness as a result of the grace of God, there is something to be said about fully trusting God with what we have and the people he’s provided us with.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
-1 John 4:18
Many have come before us, struggled with the same tensions, and ultimately have responded in similar fashion. Moreover, Jesus Christ himself has experienced everything there is in this life and gives us his word so that we can pursue holiness even in the midst of our own depravity.
The long run fear of missing out drives us to believe that our lives are missing something aside from Jesus and the cross. We think having a certain job or organizational affiliation will bring us to a point of higher understanding; perhaps it will in some regard. For those of us that are fortunate to achieve such feats we end up falling flat on our faces in disappointment; if we are keen on continuing to follow Christ in the midst of such disappointment, we realize we were headed down the right path long before we sought to achieve such feats void of the goodness of the Cross.
If our goal is the Gospel and to obey everything that Jesus would have us do, there is zero room for the fear of missing out on “more”. There is zero punishment for those that would walk in perfect love, trust, and faith in a God who never fails or falters.