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Restless Activity for Fear of Missing Out

Paris. The Grand Canyon. The Great Barrier Reef. The Pyramids of Giza. According to a TV show a few years ago, these are four of the fifty things you must see before you die. Not only was this BBC show popular, but books with titles like that have been on best-seller lists ever since.

In fact, the show seems to have spawned an entire new genre. As well as things to see before death, there's a host of other things to add to the list: "100 things to Do Before You Die," which includes milking a cow; "100 Things to Eat Before You Die," such as crocodile. Dozens of books and websites urge you to complete their lists, offering albums to listen to, movies to watch, sensations to experience. And the lists go on.

That this genre has all been so successful reveals something sig­nificant about us. It highlights what has become a great concern for many. We want to experience the best of what's out there before it's too late. It's a first-world problem: for those of us who don't worry about putting a roof over our heads or food on the table, our greatest fear seems to be getting to the end of life and feeling we've not gotten our money's worth.

And it's all feeding into the ever-growing pathology, fear of miss­ing out (FOMO) an anxiety prevalent enough to be the subject of study by psychologists. We're increasingly desperate not to miss the best of what's out there and plagued by the fear that we might be. Life is short. The world is big. We only get one shot.

Possible Preaching Angle:

The perspective of the Bible is very different. Yes, the world is big. And, yes, this life is short. But this life is not all there is. For believers, this brief life on earth is only the entry way into an eternity filled with joy and fulfillment beyond what our hearts can imagine, “what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).

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