Space. The final frontier. Or is it? Life is addictive. Every day we are offered more and more that we want to grab ahold of. We want it all and panic if we can’t have something. This panic is actually a diagnosis on social media: FOMO, or fear of missing out.
In spite of everything that life offers us, there is still an emptiness. Something is lacking. We always want more. We always pursue more. More money. More food. More toys. More. It is a craving that constantly yearns and a hunger that constantly pangs us.
The writer of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) saw this thousands of years ago. His summary? Everything is vanity. Everything is empty. Everything is temporary. Everything is meaningless. The author points out that life may seem to be about greatness, success, money, and all these other passing fads, but really, it simply isn’t. So what is life about, then?
Life is about Torah. One who studies Torah will come to realize that there is never a completion to this study. We do an annual cycle of Torah every year. Every seven years, we restart our Oral Torah (Daf Yomi of Talmud Bavli) cycle. Every month? Tehillim (some do this every week). The study never ends. In a way, this is similar – we always yearn to learn more and grow more. But this isn’t about throwing money at electrical plastics. It’s about the internal, and as a result, eternal growth.
What goes on with us to the World to Come? It isn’t the latest gadget. It isn’t the recent big of gossip. It isn’t the greatest works of our hands. It’s our knowledge of Torah.
Torah teaches is about HaShem.
Davening brings us closer to HaShem.
Meditation lets us be still with HaShem.
Mitzvos transcend into work we do for HaShem.
A timely reminder, let’s focus on our relationship with HaShem. How can we improve it? How can we grow in it? Don’t compare yourself to your neighbor or the tzaddik down the row. Look at where you are, what you are, and where you have potential to go. Don’t try to do it all at once. Just simply do what you can, when you can, with what you have. HaShem will give you the tools to go, and grow, from there.
Personally, the only FOMO that is going to matter in the long run is the fear of missing out of a deeper and more meaningful eternal relationship with Ein Sof. And that fear isn’t a fear of punishment, but a mourning of not being as close as I can be with G-d.