You’ve heard of FOMO? Meet JOMO.
As a teen, my family drove across the country, cramming in every national park possible. By the Grand Canyon, I was hot, car sick, and annoyed. But my parents insisted I see what I thought was an oversized earthquake crack in the desert.
I fought thorny brambles and brush, crested the hill, and gasped. I was standing on the edge of the most majestic sight I’d ever seen. There was no fence, no rail, and how could there be? It was too big to contain, and I was so small. From that moment, I was hooked on experiences.
These days my life is filled with church activities, school obligations, bills, chores, and homework. But because I don’t want my family (or myself) to miss out, I keep cramming in more experiences. “We need these experiences,” I rationalize, while my family pleads, “Can we go home now?”
In truth, my experience drive was stressing us out! Scratching off my (growing) bucket list had become a burden instead of a joy.
Then I saw a journal titled, “The Joy of Missing Out.” Wait … missing out a joy?
What if searching for experiences made me miss out on life’s real joys? What if I valued mundane moments as treasures, not obstacles?
Solomon had palaces and visitors from around the world. Yet, he said, “All things are full of weariness … the eye is not satisfied with seeing, or the ear filled with hearing” (Ecclesiastes 1:8). He’s saying, no matter how many awesome experiences a person has, they never satisfy.
What I really needed was contentment. What’s better than cuddling by the fire on a cold day or watching a romantic movie on the couch with pizza? The parties, museums, and national monuments will be the same in 10 years, but my family won’t be. By “missing out,” I get to enjoy the experience of living.
The good stuff: Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. (1 Timothy 6:6-7)
Action points: Look through your calendar and evaluate your priorities. Are activities getting in the way of your relationships? Consider ways you can create more space for connection. What kinds of experiences can you create at home?
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