The feeling is called the fear of missing out (or FOMO, for short). It is the sensation that somewhere someone is having more fun, doing more things, having a better time than we are and we are not there to experience it with them.
It sounds silly when you say it out loud, but I truly think FOMO is at least one of the driving forces behind our over-scheduled, over-busy lifestyles these days. We want to make sure that we are fitting all that we can into a day and experiencing everything that our family and friends are experiencing.
The problem with FOMO it that is causes us to became super focused on what can bring us the most pleasure for ourselves, what can make us seem better or more involved than others and what can make us appear cool and hip and “with it” in the eyes of society.
Unfortunately, I think that FOMO has creeped into the life of the church as well. We are not as committed to activities and programs we once were in the church because we are subconsciously waiting for “something better to come along.” In extreme cases, we see the effects of FOMO playing out in lower attendance in worship and fewer activities at church.
The truth of the matter is that qualities of FOMO go against what we as Christian should be most about:
While FOMO says to do things that make you feel good, the Bible says:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. —Philippians 2:3
The Christian life should be about dong the most we can for others, not ourselves.
FOMO beacons us to do whatever everyone else is the world is doing, but the Bible says:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. —Romans 12:2
The Christian life should be about doing what God wants us to do, not what the world around us is doing.
Our life in Christ should be a quest to keep seeking to follow him in what we do, not endlessly seeking that proverbial “next best thing” that the world says we are missing out on.
As Christians, we are not missing out on anything. We have everything we need through our faith in Christ: forgiveness, love and salvation.
The only ones who are missing out are those who do not have faith and it is our privilege to let them know that Christ is not someone they can afford to miss out on.