On Overcoming Regret and FOMO (Fear of missing out)
I couldn’t help but feel regret after reading this first letter. The line “This is the toughest part of being old. It’s having to watch others do what you used to be able to do yourself. But of course, knowing that at the same time our dear Susan, Ed, Cindy, Crissy have our backs.” Tears streamed down my face thinking of my Pappy weak in his last year of life and me living so far away. Something my husband always tells me when I get upset about something in the past “We can’t change that now, but what can we do is look towards the future.” Paul says it this way to the Philippians 3:13 “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Regret is a tricky thing. I think a lot of us make the best decisions we can make at the time we make them. Before Jesus appeared to Paul he was torturing and persecuting Christians. That’s what he thought was right at the time from his limited perspective, but when he was overcome by the fact the Jesus died for him, rose again and now is in Heaven he realized he made a huge mistake. Repentance is so important. He confessed his sins and received the grace of Jesus, who died for his faults on the cross. He also died for our sins/mistakes and all we need to do is ask for forgiveness and we will be made new. If Paul continued the rest of his life beating himself up for what he did in the past that wouldn’t have done any service to God (it won’t do us any good either). Instead he looked towards the future, towards Heaven, towards Jesus, towards truth. He wrote a great deal of the New Testament of the Bible- the same guy that was trying to shut up every Christian is now the person’s words we read about Jesus at Church services, weddings and funerals all over the world.
My grandpa didn’t write this to make me feel regret, he wrote this because he was being honest and grateful. Grateful that there was great family around to take care of him.
Through prayer, and guidance from God it was clear God wanted Caleb and I to be in California. As much as I had FOMO all the time about moments with my family, I was where I needed to be. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a real thing in our culture with social media and having so much access to people all around the world. I can’t think of a time where my Pappy ever felt this way. He was the most content person I have ever met. He continually had a grateful heart. I think FOMO and regret can go hand in hand. It’s easy to regret one decision we make based on missing out on something else. We may have made a mistake, we may not have. I think it’s important to discern the difference, repent if it was a mistake, and be thankful of the decision we chose if it wasn’t. Either way, to learn from that experience and move on. So much of my life I have focused on regret from the past. In reading this letter, processing my feelings and thinking of what Jesus and my pappy would do, I realize I don’t want to live in regret or FOMO. I thank God for time spent with my Pappy. I’m thankful for his letters. I’m thankful I got to visit him. I’m thankful he lived a good long life. I’m thankful he was such a good man. I’m thankful he is in Heaven now and one day I will see him again. I’m thankful that I can change my mindset and instead of focusing on negative things from the past, I can look to the future with positivity and a grateful heart.