February 20, 2023: FOMO

Reading: Genesis 2: 15-17, 3: 1-7

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.



Of all the trees in the garden, there was just that one. To avoid. To not eat from. To live without. Why was it so hard? Of all the beauty to behold and all that was provided for every need, that one tree was the most beholden and couldn’t be lived without. Why? Because the thought got in the mind and the mind couldn’t let it go. The tree. The fruit. The fear of missing out (FOMO). Oh, Adam and Eve missed out alright. Cast out is more like it.

Sometimes I wonder why we don’t see all the good in the big picture. Instead, we focus on one thing. The one bad. The one that we think has all the power. Why? Because the thought got in our minds and we could not let it go. That one problem, disappointment, or thing we just can’t have. FOMO then, instead of feeling power by perseverating, it saps out all our strength.

Eat freely. Enjoy the big picture. Be grateful for what gives life. You won’t want to miss out on that.

–Ruth Gates



Thank you, God, for all we have been given to till and to keep. Thank you for providing what we need and reminding us what we don’t. Cast out our fears. Keep us in your loving care.