Over the last decade I have heard people talking about FOMO. If you don't already know, FOMO stands for FEAR OF MISSING OUT.
As I write this our nation is in lock-down over the covid 19 and all around me in social posts, political posts, news, emails and web calls are people longing for things to go back to normal. I too have vocalized my frustrations with not being able experience and accomplish all the things I missing out on. I have actually had the thought that these days and all that I could accomplish and experience are being "stolen from me. I will never be able to get this time back and its made me kind of angry and frustrated if I am being honest.
Over the last few years I have been watching a friend, Jay, in the prime of life, fight cancer. This week he was sent home to "enjoy" the last days or weeks of his life with his family.
I was reminded of a book I read years ago entitled "One Month to Live" by Pastor Kerry Shook. The premise of the book asks the question, "If you had one month to live, how would it change how you experience the world around you? How would it change the choices you make today?
"If you had one month to live, how would it
change how you experience the world around you?
How would it change the choices you make today?
A few days ago my wife asked me to do something for her. I honestly don't even remember what it was, but whatever it was I was doing it while quietly feeling a little pissy about it. I remember thinking " I bet Jay would give anything to be able to experience this life moment that I am grumbling about...If I only had a week to live, would I be grumbling or would I choose to embrace this moment as one of the few remaining opportunities I will ever have to show my wife how much I love her?"
I was overwhelmed by the awareness of how ungrateful I am.
"If I knew I was going to meet Jesus in a few short days, what would become important to me? This question, in one form or another has been constantly fading in and out of my mind all week.
The day we are born we have no choices, we are completely dependent on our caretakers. As we grow and mature, the choices available to us expand. I remember at one point in life being completely overwhelmed by all the choices available to me. "Should I go to college or join the service? Should I save money before buying a car or take on a loan? Should I marry this girl? Should I travel the world or should I settle into a career? Who can tell me what I SHOULD do to have the best life?
Even as a young man I knew that making certain "choices" eliminated others forever. I feared making the wrong choices and missing out on "what could have been" my better/best choice. I was afraid I would regret my choices and be stuck in my decisions.
There IS some truth to this and there comes a point in life where the choices available to each us begin to be increasingly fewer and fewer. In the end, we have to reconcile and evaluate those choices in light of eternity (should we be allowed to live that long).
As I put myself in my friend Jays shoes, days away from meeting Jesus...would it matter if my wife rejected me or that the kids are too loud or that I can't watch sports? No. All these things I allow to determine my gratitude and joy never did matter in light of eternity. I just allowed them to because my perspective is broken. I am focused on the wrong things.
I want to live making decisions as if I only had one month to live. I want to love others and not get caught up in all the petty stuff. I want to choose to focus on the last and most important question that will be need to answered on the day I die.
"Am I ready to meet my Jesus?"
"..each one’s work will be clearly shown [for what it is]; for the day [of judgment] will disclose it, because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality and character and worth of each person’s work.
1 Corinthians 3