“Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows? Are you tired of spinning round and round?”
Those words are the opening lines of a 1975 song entitled “Give Them All to Jesus” by Bo Benson and Phil Johnson. It ages me to admit that I only had to look up the author. I’ve had the words memorized for 40 years.
Before we ever heard of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), we were wearing ourselves out chasing rainbows. Of course, some people in the 60’s and 70’s were chasing rainbows in a different way, but that’s not what I’m talking about!
In last week’s post, I mentioned FOMO. Many of you were already familiar with the term; others got a brief introduction. In case you missed that you can read it here.
Since writing last week’s post, I have learned some things about the origin of the term FOMO. I happened to hear an interview with the person who coined the term. When Patrick McGinnis first used the term back in 2004 as a part of a research project with fellow Harvard MBA candidates, he had no idea that FOMO would become cultural vernacular. He actually thought their first acronym, FOBO (Fear of a Better Option) would be more prevalent and popular.
While FOBO may result in hesitance to commit because something better might come along, FOMO leads to overcommitment because we don’t want to miss out on anything. And while I haven’t done extensive research on the FOMO effect worldwide, I am convinced that Americans have set the bar for FOMO.
We are bombarded with the subtle ideas that opportunities and resources are limited and that our lives will be incomplete if we don’t take advantage of them. And they are good opportunities. They are opportunities to learn more, to achieve more, to accomplish more in a shorter time, to live better, to enjoy more family time, to be more efficient and effective, even to be better and more effective followers of Jesus.
That last one is where a lot of us get hooked. We realize that we haven’t been the best that we can be and we so desperately want to be all that God created us to be. We realize that the time we spend on this planet is short and we want to do God’s will.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
It’s that every opportunity thing that gets me. What if I miss something God sent me? What if I say no when I should have said yes? I know I can’t do everything at once, but maybe I can figure out the right sequence.
I have one more post to write on this subject (for now). In the meantime, let me ask you this: are you working so hard chasing the life for which God created you that you are not able to live it?