I have written before about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). It makes many people reluctant to commit to an event in case another better one comes along, and manifests in a constant anxiety that other people are having more fun than you.
They want to live life to the full, not through a screen.
Well, there’s a growing number of people who know the Joy of Missing Out. Sick of scrolling through their social media accounts to find out what they could (or should!) be doing, an increasing amount of young people are regularly fasting from their devices in order to enjoy the company they’re actually in, even if it’s only their own! They want to live life to the full, not through a screen.
Fortunately for me, coordinating youth events in the Diocese of Parramatta and attending and presenting at Catholic events all over the country, they can also be keen to take themselves off for a weekend retreat experience.
At our recent Young Adults LIFTED Retreat, “Complete Joy”, an optional hour of silent Adoration was offered early each morning, which many took up, and even then we had requests for more silence in the program. With limited phone reception at the venue, the participants really experienced JOMO. They embraced the present moment by forming new friendships and renewing their friendship with God. They had lengthy Sister Act sing-alongs without backing tracks or Youtube clips. They took up the opportunity to reflect on their lives and what God might be asking them to do and be. They listened for the voice of Jesus in the guest speakers, in communal prayer and in the sacraments and ultimately found he was saying to them:“I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”(Jn 15:11)
So can I encourage you to intentionally “miss out” in order to connect with real people in real life, and especially with God? It is, after all, God who knows most intimately our restless yearnings and our fear that we will miss out on what will answer them. So let’s take the time and space to discover that ‘You have made me for Yourself, O Lord, and my heart is restless until it rests in You’ (St Augustine).