May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. (Jude 1:2 NRSV)
Love God and love your neighbor and you will live. Doctors know it is true. Love for God and one's neighbor is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. Time after time it has been proven. Men and women who keep to themselves, even those in good physical health, are more likely to die prematurely than are those whose lives are linked to others. Even more impressive are studies that show we benefit physically and emotionally from helping those less fortunate than ourselves. Dr. Hans Selye, an authority on stress, calls this kind of service to others "self-serving altruism" because the pleasure one receives from such an activity often adds more to the inner quality of the helper than it does the person who is helped.
Charles L. Allen once told of a man who went in search of a flower called hearts ease. Upon every road he took, however, he found an obstacle blocking his progress. That obstacle was his brother's burden. At last in desperation he decided to lift that unwelcome obstacle, because he could continue his search in no other way. Then to his utter amazement, he found the lovely flower of hearts ease blooming under the burden he lifted.
There is the great secret to life. Help others and ultimately we help ourselves.
Dear God, thank you for the gift of love. In Jesus' name, Amen.