Page 5: What If . . .
The fear of missing out has become so commonplace that it now has its own acronym: FOMO. We’re afraid of missing out on great opportunities, the right timing or relationship, the chance of a lifetime, popularity, making a difference—the list is long. But it’s the same old lie, the same old story. It’s Adam and Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:1-7).
Perhaps God wanted Adam and Eve to develop maturity before knowing about good and evil, and as a protection, told them not to eat from that one tree. In the Garden, they had everything they needed. God was their companion and would lead them through each day. But instead of obeying God, they decided to judge for themselves what they should do. They listened to the serpent, believed a lie, and had the first earthly case of FOMO. They were afraid of missing out.
Today the lie is fueled by serpents in the form of the media, advertising, comparison, and discontent. The sources are endless. Instead of fearing we’re missing out, what if we lived with the firm belief God is caring for us? What if we implicitly trusted Him in all things, at all times, in all ways? What might life be like? Let’s explore this idea.
Take a moment and imagine:
You are in the center of a giant garden. Everywhere you look there is lush beauty and provision. Four rivers flow through the garden, each watering the land and contributing to the abundant splendor. The garden is described as paradise, a place of bliss and delight. It is your home.
Everything you need to sustain your life and well-being can be found here, and everything in the garden is available to you. Everything, except for one tree. The generous Giver-of-Life has asked you not to eat off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For if you do, you will die—the purity of your soul will be tainted.
You are content and satisfied with life in paradise and can’t imagine not willingly agreeing with your Creator. Life is good. Every need you have— physical, emotional and spiritual—is being met. You trust and delight in your Creator and the companion He has given you. You live free, covering nothing.
One day, you encounter a creature who questions you about the Giver-of-Life. You try to explain what God said and did not say. The creature questions you again, placing doubt in your mind. Confusion enters in and you wonder if God is holding something back from you? Are you missing out—being deprived of the exquisite looking fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Are you limiting yourself by not eating it? And besides, did God actually tell you that you’d die? Why would He say that?
So you eat. You offer your companion a bite. And your eyes are open to things you didn’t need to know. You are embarrassed by your nakedness, and shame seeps into your soul. You cover your body. You cover your heart. You hide from God. And you begin to die. The safety you felt in His presence is gone. You’re embarrassed to see Him. Where can you find rest for your soul?
Try it out:
Listen to God: Take a few minutes and compare the difference you sensed in your well-being at the first of the story and then at the end. Ask God at which point in the story you live in most days. Take time to listen.
Think about it: It’s the same old story, the same old lie. Did God really say that? Is He keeping something good from me? Am I missing out? Imagine if you trusted God and chose to believe He always has your best interest in mind. What if you stopped wondering if you should judge for yourself? Just imagine…
Return to rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Pray: Lord, forgive me for not trusting You, for wondering if I’m missing out on something in life. I’m constantly bombarded with opportunities, possibilities, and seemingly good ideas. Lord, is there an area where FOMO is robbing me of Your ways and Your peace?
(If something comes to mind, ask the Lord what He has to say about the situation. Next ask what needs to change in your thinking or actions. Then respond to Him.)