Last weekend, we got to spend some time with Remi, our adorable “granddog”. He spent most of the summer in our home as a new puppy before my daughter took him back to school with her. If you are a regular reader, you may recall that it took a few weeks for our already established “big dogs” to warm up to him. But now, they wrestle and play and enjoy the energy that a young puppy brings when he visits. Their reunions are too fun to watch. My son took notice of something during Remi’s recent visit and actually said, “Mom , this is a really good blog topic, you should write about it.” So he gets the credit this week.
Our dogs, AJ and Bentley are rescue dogs and we have had them for almost eight years now. We got them as puppies, the last two of the litter, and they’ve never been separated. As they’ve grown over the years, we were able to install a pet door that allows them free access in and out of the house into our fenced back yard. They essentially take care of themselves and keep one another company, which makes our absences much easier for everyone. However, one of the drawbacks of their freedom is that every time one of them thinks he sees or hears something interesting in our yard, they both bolt out of the house, growling and barking as if they are about to conquer a mythical creature in a once in a lifetime battle. And this urgency happens at least twice a day….often in the middle of a quiet hour of prime time television or a Sunday afternoon nap. It’s something that alarms our guests from time to time, but it is a common to us as the air conditioner kicking on and off. We have laughed over the years at the way they both tear out of the room, one after another, typically to discover there is absolutely nothing to see only to return moments later with faces downcast and nothing to show for the excitement but some heavy breathing. One never does it without the other…they both go every single time, but we giggle when our less dominant dog AJ, often stops just outside of the pet door as if to say, “this is as far as I’m going until I see some evidence this is worth it.”
Right before Remi left for college, he was beginning to take more and more notice of the pet door. It was absolutely precious how he would watch them enter and exit as if they had discovered something magic. If you are a Harry Potter fan, think of the 9 ¾ platform and Harry’s first experience with going through the wall. Remi would cock his head to one side as if to say, “How do they do that?” It reminded me of playing peek-a-boo with a baby before he or she discovers that the adult doesn’t really disappear. As Remi grew, he began to get closer to the door and would begin to put his paws up on the swinging screen to try to make something happen. He actually mastered it once or twice only to scare himself when he got through it and couldn’t figure out how to get back in. We know it won’t be long until he runs in and out as freely as the “big dogs” do and we are on high alert when he’s here to make sure he doesn’t escape. What caught Brady’s attention was that even though Remi couldn’t make the trip out the door with the dogs into the back yard, every time they took off running to explore whatever it was they thought they heard or saw, he did too. He would run right up to the point he couldn’t get out….because he was afraid he might miss something. A doggy version of FOMO.
If you google FOMO (“fear of missing out”) you find several definitions similar to this. “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website”. The reality is that just like AJ and Bentley tear out of our house to discover that things aren’t nearly as interesting as they thought, many of those things we covet through social media would be equally as disappointing. Yet, like Remi, we take off running every time in hopes that just once we might get a glimpse of what we think we are looking for. We browse through the highlight reels of friends and family much like Remi sits at the pet door absolutely sure that there is something amazing he can’t be part of.
With the recent passing of my grandmother, I’ve been thinking a lot about Heaven. As Christians, shouldn’t the only real FOMO we experience be about eternity? Revelation 21 describes Heaven as a place that doesn’t need light for the glory of God provides the illumination and a place where nothing impure will ever enter in. As believers we are promised in John 14, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
Remi follows AJ and Bentley to a place that doesn’t deliver anything despite a lot of hype and anticipation. He’s a young puppy following the lead of two older dogs who should have learned better by now, but they still keep running out the door hoping that this time things will be different. Many of us have others following our leads too. What is it that they are following us to? Are we pointing them to Heaven and the things of our Father that will never leave them disappointed or are we pointing them to things of this world that will always fall flat? Are we chasing things in our own lives that only result in our returning with our faces downcast and nothing but heavy breathing to show for it?
I have been extremely convicted as I have thought on this topic this week. Do I love my friends and family enough to make sure that not one of them misses out on Heaven? Am I willing to risk a little embarrassment or even rejection knowing that the result of NOT sharing Jesus with others will have a devastating eternal result of very real missing out?? If Jesus is the very best part of my life (and He ABSOLUTELY is!) then shouldn’t I use every opportunity I am given to make sure NO ONE misses out on Him?
The path to Heaven is clear. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6). There’s only one way. Accepting Jesus and the gift of the cross as the payment of our sins. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
I pray that like me, you might take some time to think about what should really cause FOMO in your life. And then take it a step further and think about what you are sharing with those in your circle of influence as “don’t miss this” opportunities. What do you spend your time talking about or posting about because it matters most to you? What conclusions would someone draw about you by scrolling through your social media posts or listening in on your daily conversations? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having hobbies and interests that we want to share with others. But let’s also not lose sight that we are on a mission field every day and if we don’t share the Good News of Jesus and His love for us, who will? Your story could be the very thing that helps someone take that step of faith that means the difference in an eternity in Heaven or in Hell. Tell it in such a way that all who hear would suffer greatly from FOMO…..everything depends on it.
I would love to tell you more about Jesus if you have questions. Feel free to reach out to me through my website, Facebook or Instagram. I can promise you that if you don’t have a personal relationship with Him your fear of missing out is real! He’s everything as advertised and so much more.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)