Drive-By Relationships

The most influential factor affecting the quality of a relationship is the amount of time spent together. Once you are actually in the company of one with whom you enjoy relationship, the quality of the time you spend together becomes significant.

Drive-by shootings follow a similar pattern: A car comes up to the subject, the car slows enough for the shooter to aim, a shot is fired and connection made, and the car speeds off once more.

Drive-by relationships involve people who meet up with each other, slow their schedules down enough to make a quick connection, then speed off again in their original direction of travel.

The speed at which the world operates has increased to a fever pitch. I admit that I usually try to squeeze the most out of every nanosecond. When I reheat a cup of coffee in the microwave and set the timer for ONE MINUTE, I immediately try to figure out what I can accomplish in the next 60 seconds. Half the time I get busy doing that little bitty project and completely forget I have coffee in the microwave.

At some point I remember and scurry back to the microwave. I set the timer for ONE MINUTE. And the cycle repeats.

Is silence appealing or appalling?

How long has it been since you walked a lake shore without a cell phone? Wrote a letter? Read a book in the quiet of an evening with only the chirp of a cricket or bird song to break the silken silence? Do such interludes of peace sound appealing or appalling?  Do you hunger for the luxury of time or do you get antsy after the maddening vacuum of the first 20 seconds?

Are you pleased with the quality of your relationship with those you love most? Spouse, children, parents, friends, pets or horse — how about God? If you can’t stand being alone in the quiet it’s a good bet you and the Lord may be sharing a drive-by relationship.

Most of us have experienced conversations with someone who wouldn’t or couldn’t give us their complete attention. Can you remember standing face to face with someone who responded to you verbally but kept looking over your shoulder for someone a bit more important or interesting to speak to? Most of us have been on both ends of that drive-by experience. Today it’s far more likely to be conversing with someone who refuses to stop texting or checking Facebook and email on their smart phone.

Is your online status more important than real relationships?

Your friend from the gym may not be able to give you her complete attention because she’s busy telling all her online friends that she’s meeting you. Some people read about God in their Bible while waiting for the microwave to ding, but never take a moment to stop everything else and simply seek His presence. Surely we need to devote more than the time it takes to heat a cup of coffee if we’re going to spend time with the Creator of the universe. So… we resolve to get to it when we have more time available.

Someone once said that it is easier to be busy doing God’s work than to be quiet in His presence.  Multi-tasking should be a solitary pursuit. When you divide your focus between interaction with someone else, your social media, and some task or other – you are promoting just one more drive-by relationship. How often do you multi-task when spending time in God’s presence? Are you looking for someone a bit more important or interesting to speak to?

Why don’t you put a cup of coffee or tea in the microwave and set the time for ONE MINUTE. Use that time to watch this 60 second  Amazing Grays Ministry video –  What one thing is more important than anything else in building great relationship?

Watch…  Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace by Lynn Baber


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For more information about Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace: Pursuing relationship with God, horses, and one another, click the BOOKS tab at the top of this page or visit


  1. Most of my days are spent in God’s “silence”…birds, cattle, horses, sheep, dogs, cats, insects, wind…the ultimate white noise. Silence is appealing especially when it means I’m not having to listen to yet another person lie. Drive-by relationships is a great name for what a lot, if not most, people call “friendship”. Since my husband died, I’ve lost count (not that I ever was counting) of the people who told me “I consider us friends” and I’ve not heard from them since I saw them at the wake or funeral. I’m not bitter, I’m realistic; a cynic with more information.
    Mom says if we die with five true friends, we’ve lived a wonderful life. She’s right; friends are hard to come by. Not many want to spend the time, effort and concentration to build a friendship; what most want is someone they can use to personal advantage. As soon as we figure that out, we’ll be on our way to developing true friends not “drive-by relationships”.
    The best way I’ve found to develop deep relationships is, start morning devotions and never let up. God is the only One who’ll be with us, consistently and with non-condemnation.
    Bless His name forever!

    • Lynn Lynn:

      Sandra, your experience is not uncommon and illustrates the truth of Christ’s words, “Only God is good.” Friendship is a word that is not defined the same way by all. How many people spend a considerable chunk of each day with their 500 closest friends on Facebook? Social media and the growth of mega-churches are disastrous in most cases for true relationship. Worshiping with 50 is a far more intimate event than with 5000.

      I have always considered my true friends those with whom I have no ledger: I did this for you and you did this for me. There is no accounting, no score keeping.

      In truth, I don’t pursue many close friendships because I am acutely aware of the commitment required. I must spend regular time in the company of my friends; know the details of their lives; offer without being asked, ask without embarrassment, and have faith in the constancy of their nature and actions. Other people have similar time constraints and don’t have time to be true friends with me. God is always available, always interested, and always faithful. We are so blessed to share our lives in God’s creation in all its diversity. It sounds like you have your own version of the Garden, as we do.

      There are many wonderful people in the world but insufficient time to have many relationship greater than drive-bys. We must select and commit, otherwise we will come to the end and have no true friends. Thank you for sharing your beautiful “silence” with us.

  2. Dan Cooksey:

    Good video. After God, my most important relationship is with my wife, Betty. I’m a morning person and she’ not. So, it’s my job to feed the horses in the morning. I usually go out just before dawn because I love the quiet and the beauty of our New Mexico sky just as the sun is coming up. Me and God enjoy that time together. When I go in to wake Betty, I give her the gift of the morning. To wake her, I rub her head for about 10 -15 seconds. Then I’ll rub each foot for 5 – 10 seconds before putting on her slippers. Reluctantly, she’ll get up as I hold her robe for her to put it on. Her coffee and a glass of ice water are waiting for her next to her place on the couch. All of this is meant to demonstrate that quality relationships require focus and work – investment. The same is true with our relationship with God and with our horses – an investment of our time.

    Regards, Dan

    • Lynn Lynn:

      Thank you, Dan, for your beautiful testimony of how wonderful relationship and true intimacy is only possible when there is a “knowing” — as well as understanding, caring, and commitment. Investment is a great way to describe relationship because they do not remain static. At the end of every day our balance will have grown or shrunk. The choice is ours.

  3. Roger Williams:

    “If you can’t stand being alone in the quiet it’s a good bet you and the Lord may be sharing a drive-by relationship.”

    A drive-by relationship is what it is for most people today, Lynn. If it were otherwise the church would not be what it is – merely a religious institution. God’s people love it that way. Love the picture! Great ad too, is that you promoting it?


    • Lynn Lynn:

      Roger, the little video was a first attempt in a more creative medium and as a book trailer. Yes, that’s me doing the voice over. I narrated both audio books after that and learned a lot! One day we may graduate to real video, but I have to be dragged into new technology. When I read authors from other eras I am struck by the time they spent walking and talking with companions along country roads – as did Jesus and the disciples.
      Blessings, Lynn

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