Loving the Unlovable

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I have had the occasion to be on I-95 for a total of 18 hours over the past four days. I know; you are wavering between feeling sorry for me and wondering why I would do such an inane thing. Linda and I travelled to northern New Jersey to allow her to be with her high school classmates celebrating their 55th reunion. I accompanied her to keep all of her old boyfriends from her. We drove up and Thursday and back on Saturday. Today, we drove to Emporia, Virginia to pick up our son’s dog, who will be staying with us for the next two plus weeks, while he is galivanting around the world saving humanity from itself.

The funny thing about my time on I-95 is that I did not spend the entire time screaming at the other drivers. I will admit, due to my age, I am now basically a right-lane driver; but I do set my cruise control to about 5 miles-per-hour over the legal limit. Occasionally, I do go into the middle and left lanes to pass a slow moving old person (like me) or a truck laboring up a hill.

Regardless of what lane I am in, I am constantly being passed, cut off, or tailgated by one of my fellow human beings who is hell-bent on becoming an organ donor. For instance, while heading north on 295 today, a car in the middle lane passed me on the left, cut in front of me to pass the car ahead of him, and then sliced back in front of the other car. I think he missed me by less than a foot, although it appeared to be a lot closer.

Now, Linda will tell you that my immediate comment is “Really?” or some other shocked verbiage spewing from my mouth. This shock and anger do not long, however, and I realize that I used to be that way myself when I was much younger. You know, last year when I was 73. I know that people are impatient; have to get to their destinations before anyone else; and, thankfully, have much better reflexes than I now possess.

I now pray for them and all the people they encounter on their journeys. I also tell God that I love these people, too. I am reminded that it is easy to love your family and friends, but not so easy to love your neighbors, no matter how far they live from you. The challenge is to love those who seem determined to do you harm, due to their bad habits.

God, I pray that you allow me to continue to love my brothers and sisters who are rushing so much that they do not have the idea to slow down to appreciate those around them. Protect them from themselves, and keep them in comfort, as you do for me.

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