…My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.” 2 Chron.7:15,16
It is always tricky to attempt definitions of those things that are both deep and meaningful. But here goes. A working definition of love is - that to which you direct your attention.
Simone Weil stated that, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” It’s one of the greatest gifts we can offer anyone. Considering the countless things and people that compete for our attention, it is also one of the hardest to give. Our heads, hearts and hands flutter from item to item, even from person to person. It is love that focuses our attention. When God commands us to love Him with everything we have and are, He is calling for our attention. (Mk.12:30) We are to harness our thoughts, feelings, energy, body and resources and turn them all in in His direction. We can do it partially (ie only on Sundays.) We can do it poorly. (Grunt from behind the newspaper as He speaks.) At times we do it passionately as God fills our focus. But no one does it perfectly – we all learn and grow. We learn that to love God well is to attend to Him.
Of course the next question is, “How?” How do you give God attention in your day? Many begin the day with Scripture and prayer – but then our concentration drifts. The challenge is to invite attention’s return to God throughout the day. It may help to consider how you do it with your family. There may be texts or calls. There are certainly thoughts of gratitude. I may remind myself of a task to perform or words and kindness I have received. That’s what love does. That’s what love does for God as well.
If this sounds onerous, like a chore, let your heart be warmed by this. God loves you. God gives you His full, unwavering attention. His eyes and heart are upon you every moment. His presence is never distracted. He thinks of you incessantly. The attention we give Him is a response to the attention we receive.