Distracted drivers kill over 3000 people every year, and they injure over 300,000. Their actions say that driving isn’t important enough to merit their attention. The average car in the United States weighs around 4000 pounds and is traveling anywhere from twenty to eighty miles per hour. It doesn’t take a degree in physics to understand that driving is dangerous business and demands all of my attention all of the time, especially if I am carrying precious cargo. My driving habits changed dramatically when my granddaughters got into my car. Love makes a big difference in the attention equation.
Distracted lovers are as prevalent as distracted drivers, but I don’t have any statistics on how many hearts they break. Checking the time, answering a call, sending a text, or taking attention away from a loved one says they are not important. They either learn they are not worthy of your love or you are not worthy of theirs.
I’ve struggled with unworthiness my entire life. I’ve always believed I wasn’t worthy of God’s love or anyone else’s. I knew God loved me because He had to, but my experiences with human love taught me I didn’t merit the attention love requires. As a result, I’ve always settled for less than God desired for me because I didn’t embrace His vision for me. My heart was molded by the way it was treated early on, and I connected to those who would love me the way I believed I deserved to be loved. I found myself in the arms of those who didn’t have the time or attention love needs to grow as God desires.
I wonder what would happen if our cars demanded our attention. What if they pulled off the road each time we were distracted? When Tyler was a toddler, he used to hold my cheeks together and get right in my face when he wanted my full attention. Mylah says, “Look at me. I’m talking.” Maybe we could get an app that would do the same on our cars and phones, or maybe we could simply stop for a second and think about how it makes us feel when we are in the presence of someone who isn’t present.
God is always fully present, but we rarely give Him the attention He deserves. He could very easily demand our attention, but He knows demanding attention is worse than not getting it. His world is filled with distracted lovers who run to Him when they need something or when they are hurt but forget all about Him when all is well. I am as guilty as anyone in that regard.
The world fills our journeys with distractions, but God fills them with beautiful opportunities to love. We must decide whether to love and let go of distractions or go with distractions and leave love behind. I can’t imagine I leaving this world wishing I had checked the time or my phone more often, but I fear leaving it wishing I had loved more.
Driving takes time and attention if it is to be done in a way that doesn’t hurt others. The same is true for loving, so take time today to stop and make sure those you love know you love them by giving them your full attention. God knows we miss so much when we are distracted, and He also knows that a loving presence is one that is focused upon the one being loved 🙂