So I’m holding all of my life up to the light, the light of eternity.
In June, our daughter Lauren came home to spend the summer in Rapid with the family, mostly because her big sister was getting married. It was wonderful having her here with us – we have had a great summer with our family. Lauren is lots of fun … she loves people and adds to the party wherever she is. But Lauren has a problem. She hates missing out on anything. This personality “disorder” 🙂 has been dubbed by her friends at school as FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. We quickly picked up on that term this summer, and have used it frequently at her expense. We lean toward overkill in our home.
Anyway, we’ve had a somewhat busy summer with lots going on, so at any given time there was the possibility of missing out on something that was happening with someone. To her dismay, Lauren had to make hard choices regarding responsibilities and work, sometimes leading to a case of FOMO. My sister, who also has the disorder (I won’t say it’s a disease, because I think with hard work, it can be mastered), has texted me several times and said she has moved from the milder version of FOMO to the more severe SOMO: Sure of Missing Out! 🙂
Although I don’t really suffer from this problem – hey, I’m just glad to be where I am and I’m not really concerned whether others are somewhere else having fun without me; it’s life 🙂 – I’ve been thinking about it lately in light of eternity. I have concluded that in light of eternity, I should have FOMO. Am I wasting my life? Am I missing out on what God wants to do with me, in me, through me?
Usually, when people say they want to live a “full life,” they have a bucket list of “to do’s”. World traveling, love, kids, places, career, retirement. These things are not necessarily bad, but they often leave us far too easily content. I tend to think of the immediate payoff when deciding what to do next. What will have an immediate effect? What will bring me immediate pleasure, immediate reward, immediate satisfaction, immediate recognition, immediate results? It’s really a challenge for me to take the long view. A bucket list contains those things I want to do asap, while hoping that I have a while to complete it! 🙂 The list would consist of the things that I would consider fun, exciting, maybe even challenging. But admittedly it would probably be a somewhat selfish list. I would include the things that would make me happy.
But, recently I have been challenged in my thinking about what matters in the life of Christ follower and I must ask myself a hard question: So, in light of eternity, do I have FOMO? I honestly, although probably not so readily, admit that I don’t. The truth is, I’m easily amused, as they say. The key phrase for me is “in light of eternity.” I have lived too much of my life too easily comfortable with where I am spiritually, regionally, relationally. But what if there’s much more that God has for me if I would step out of this comfort zone I’ve basically lived in and stretch myself to limits beyond my imagination? I say to myself that I don’t want to waste my life on things that don’t matter. But I find myself not necessarily living up to those desires on a daily basis. Here’s my basic question when it comes to discoveries like this: Where do I start, God? How can little ol’ me make a difference. In my home? In my city? In my sphere of influence? In my church? I don’t want to miss out on what You are doing, God, but what do I do now that I know this?
Well, I’ve decided to take some first steps. Some practical and doable steps. My church has been on my heart for months now because I feel like God’s people are missing out on what He has for them. Great things! But I know it must start with and in me. Being a pastor’s wife automatically qualifies me to serve in my church. 🙂 People will usually let leaders work as hard as they want to work. But sometimes it’s hard to plug in and really serve in my giftedness and with joy. I recently saw a list of “How to be a Difference Maker in Your Local Church”. I decided to just work on these for now, because I think if nothing else, it will make a difference in ME! Just a few of them were:
•Stay there as long as you can.
•Put away thoughts of a revolution for a while.
•Be patient with your leaders.
•Rejoice when the gospel is faithfully proclaimed.
•Bear with those who hurt you.
•Give people the benefit of the doubt.
•Be thankful someone vacuumed the carpet for you.
•Enjoy the Sundays that “click.”
•Pray extra hard on the Sundays that don’t.
When we come together in a worship gathering, we should praise God for what He has done and is doing in our lives and the lives of others. We should also serve God. Followers of Christ are uniquely gifted to serve in their circle of influence. We are His body, putting hands and feet to the ministry. I desire for the love of Christ to become evident in my life as I step out of my comfort zone and begin to function as the minister that God created me to be.
God has created me for a purpose. I absolutely believe that. CS Lewis worded it like this:
..if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Lord, give me a strong case of godly FOMO. May my fear lead me to self abandonment for Your sake and the sake of the gospel. I am not there. I am still a baby in this area and I should be more mature. Help me to depend on You for power, grace and love to accomplish what You’ve called me to accomplish. Give me a real desire to go where You are working and to get in on it. To do my part. To be there. Keep me from being too easily pleased!