You’ve seen them. You might be one of them. Those people who can’t stop checking their phone or computer for the latest update from their friends. They stay constantly plugged into social media checking Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram. It’s a new social angst, the worry that someone, somewhere, is having a good time without them.
There is now a specific name for this: the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). While constantly making sure that they are aware of all that is taking place, one of the downsides of FOMO is that it leads to a failure to commit. People hold to their commitments lightly so that if something better comes along – a more interesting opportunity, perhaps – they can easily change their plans.
The fear of missing out means that people might not be present in the moment and miss out on what is right before them. It means that they worry about making the wrong decision because they could miss out on something better somewhere else. In short, people with FOMO have difficulty being at peace with their decisions and contentment can elude them.
The good news is that as Christians, we never miss out on the good stuff that Jesus has for us. We can be confident that, in him, we have all we need. We can trust the Spirit of God to lead, guide and direct us in our paths even as we wonder where it might be taking us. Peter writes, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises.” (2 Peter 1:3-4) This simply means that Jesus has given us everything we need. There is no fear of missing out.
Our world is busy and the demands are great. We may indeed at times miss out on some fun or exciting activity with friends. We can’t be everywhere at once. But we need not have such a fear in our Christian walk: everything has already been provided.