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  • Writer's picturekara-duncan

What Did I Sign Up For?



 

We’ve all heard of FOMO (fear of missing out), but have you heard of JOMO (the joy of missing out)?  I recall a moment in my life when I so desperately wanted to claim JOMO over a situation that I committed myself to. 


I was working at a small, local manufacturing company in Illinois at the time; eagerly gaining any HR experience that I could find.  Because it was such a small company, we all as coworkers knew each other well.  We knew about each other’s families, hobbies and life happenings.  As such, I knew that my boss and her husband owned some land and enjoyed deer hunting.  (For those that don’t know, deer hunting in Illinois is quite common where I’m from.).  My boss arrived to work one day and eagerly announced that she and her husband had shot their first deer.  They had planned to “process” the deer (i.e. removing the meat from the deer) that night and they were looking for two volunteers who wanted to come to their house to help them with this process.  As a bonus, those who helped would get to keep some of the meat.  One coworker raised her hand to help.  And I did too.  Internal panic ensued the moment that I raised my hand.  “What?!  Why did I just raise my hand?!  What on earth did I sign up for?  I can barely stomach the sight of blood, let alone processing a dead animal.  What am I doing?!”  Too late now.  I was committed.  I spent the rest of the day trying to distract myself with work and telling myself that I would somehow survive. 


Hours later I arrived at my boss’s house.  She and her husband were ready to put our volunteer efforts to good work.  My coworker had apparently done this before and had no issue with getting started.  I tried to borrow some of her courage as I stepped in to do my part.  I’ll spare you the details, but I will summarize the experience to say that I was highly disgusted at first, but I eventually found a way to compartmentalize the experience and work through it successfully.  The evening ended and I walked away with a very unique life experience that I thought I’d never sign up for.


As I’ve been reading my way through the Old Testament, I’ve encountered the stories of the priests that would process the animal sacrifices that were given at the temple.  The animal sacrifices were a way to make restitution any sins committed.  It was a way to not only provide a covering for sin, but to foreshadow the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Hearing of how the priests had to process the sacrifices, I can say in some very small, tiny way that I understand.  It’s a gross and undesirable process.  And it’s a reminder that our sins have consequences; consequences to ourselves, those around us (and in these instances to their animals as well).  But thank God for His perfect sacrifice of His Son Jesus that we can now call on His name for forgiveness.  And with that we can experience our own kind of JOMO.  Not just the joy of missing out on having to do animal sacrifices, but the joy of missing out on the shame, condemnation and guilt that comes from trying to carry our own sins and fix things on our own.  We get to take our wrongdoings and trade them for forgiveness and grace.  Isaiah 43:25 says, “I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”  It reminds me of the Casting Crown’s song “East to West” that’s based on Psalms 103.  Here’s an excerpt of the scripture:


 



Can’t you just feel the love in reading those scriptures? 


So, the lesson learned here is to be cautious of what you volunteer for, be thankful that we live in a time when animal sacrifices are no longer required and rest in the assurance that your sins are forgiven.  I hope that you have an opportunity to talk to God today and release anything that you might have been holding onto.  Confess anything that’s been holding you down and allow His forgiveness and love to flood your heart.  You’ll be so glad you did. 

 

Here’s a link to the referenced song if you’d like to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnkkZLdjf9Y

 

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