I heard a term the other day on the radio that I had never heard before: FOBO.
Now FOMO I know: “Fear Of Missing Out” – you know, the sense you get when you look at everyone else’s Facebook page or instagram post and feel like you are missing out on something really, really fun. Or that somehow YOUR life is less amazing than someone else’s because you don’t post as much, didn’t have great pictures from vacation, aren’t as creative, or aren’t as good at finding “spiritual” applications in your bowl of breakfast Cheerios like they are.
We can all sit and admit we know what we see online is only a slice of real life. Yes, there are those that post goofy pictures of themselves and their family, or they show a slice of their reality that mirrors your life (shock – everyone probably has clean laundry piled on a couch somewhere too). With as optimistic as a person as I can be, I too have to be careful to remind myself that I am not missing out on life just because I can’t or don’t feel like posting about everything as if it were the NEXT BIG THING. Heck, I can go weeks without posting and never feel like I missed anything. Sure, Facebook reminds me shamefully that I forgot someone’s birthday, and maybe I missed knowing I needed to pray about something or be happy for someone about their new job…. but the world continues on when I don’t check in. And guess what? No one cares. Life where I am, right in front of me, continues to be the biggest thing and where I want to put my attention.
So when I heard about FOBO I had to laugh. Of course we are going to find another acronym for our social fobias:
“Fear of Better Options”
Now, maybe this is just a thing for the younger generations. I have no idea. But the radio announcers were going on about how bad everyone is at RSVP’ing today because… well.. there might be a BETTER OPTION socially. So people wait to the last minute to decide what to do that will be the MOST fun.
Sounds like an extrovert thing (says the extrovert).
I wonder how much of God we miss because we are looking for better options?
I know, there are a million ways I could go with this one… but this time I wll start with a Psalm I read recently.
The writer of Psalm 19 starts off with this:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words, no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world”
I know this waxes poetic, and I am not the poetic type. But sit and think about this for a minute.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all over the world – from the North Pole to the Sahara Desert, from the mountain ranges to the vast amounts of farmland, to tropical beaches, all of creation is screaming out about God’s beauty and the complexity of the world he set in motion. Shouting, without words, for us to slow down and sit in the mystery and beauty of what has been created.
The other day when I read this Psalm, it made me think of the endless news cycle we are faced with today. Day and night, it too pours forth speech, as we are inundated with stories of every kind, from nearly every country. This too, reveals knowledge, as Twitter spouts the latest gossip or social media trend, brings awareness to the latest tragedy or thing to stand behind. It has speech, words, language – sometimes too much. Its voice goes into all the world – even developing countries.
Its not all bad, I know that. Yet looking at the two side by side, it begs us to look at what takes the space in our lives, doesn’t it?
When do we slow down to let the voice of creation speak louder than the news cycle, the twitter feed, or the need to post about everything you are doing? When do we slow down to be reminded of the One who created us as well?
Sure, I know I live where there are mountains and it’s beautiful. But you can find that same voice of God over the cornfields, the rolling hills, the city scapes and night skies, I promise. I might hear crickets, and you might hear waves or car horns and the bustle of a city that never sleeps.. but creation still shouts pretty loud if you will turn everything else down a notch.
This summer…. I challenge you to find the time to sit and just listen. Invite God into the space you have carved out, and let His love wash over you as you enjoy the work of his hands in the piece of creation where you live!