Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
–Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)
Do you ever find yourself saying, “I’d like to live a long life, but what’s really important is that I can enjoy a high quality of life in my years”?
If so, you might enjoy this advice from a doctor who is still practicing medicine…at the age of 102! Dr. Gladys McGarey was born in India and once had a chance encounter with Mahatma Gandhi. She attended the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in the 1930s and began practicing medicine at a time when it wasn’t allowed for a woman to own her own bank account.
In addition to still serving as a doctor and doing consulting work and earning the title “The Mother of Holistic Medicine,” McGarey has also authored a new book. The Well-Lived Life: A 102-Year-Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age.
Some habits that McGarey incorporates in her daily routine are below. Notably, each of these practices that McGarey follows has a foundation in scripture.
- Getting 9 hours of sleep a night
- Spending time with loved ones and building community
- Continuing to live in her purpose beyond the age of 100
- Walking 3,800 steps each day
- Avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol
The Bible has many verses about spending time with loved ones and getting involved in community. “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.” (Zechariah 7:9-10)
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13)
Tragically, countless people today are living without the benefit of life-giving relationships and community that God desires for us and designed us for. The US Surgeon General in a recent report claimed he often hears people say, “If I died, no one would miss me or even know I am gone.” That is a tragedy, but it’s avoidable.
Rather than waiting for others to take the first step and contact you, be brave, take initiative, and take the first step. If you encourage people and invest in their lives, you can be assured they will be aware of your presence and miss your absence.
So, reach out, make that call, and plug into relationships and community. God has designed a blueprint for His children to belong to – it’s called the church.
“But all the churches and the people in them have flaws” you say. It’s true! And that’s a good thing, because if churches were perfect, you and I wouldn’t belong!