From Let Me Tell You a Story, by Tony Campolo, copyright 2000, page 91
The story is told by M. Scott Peck, the famous psychologist and author, of a woman patient who was suffering from extreme depression. One day, when she was due for an appointment with him, she called on the telephone and told him that her car had broken down. Dr. Peck offered to pick her up on his way into work, but he explained to her that he had to make a hospital call before he got to the office. If she was willing to wait in the car while he made the call, they could have their appointment. She agreed.
When they got to the hospital, he had another suggestion. He gave her the names of two of his patients who were convalescing there, and told her that each of them would enjoy a visit from her. When they met again, an hour and a half later, the woman was on an emotional high. She told Dr. Peck that making the visits and trying to cheer up those patients had lifted her spirits, and that she was feeling absolutely wonderful.
Dr. Peck responded by saying, “Well, now we know how to get you out of your depression. Now we know the cure for your problem.”
The woman answered, “You don’t expect me to do that every day, do you?”
That’s the tragedy of our lives. Doing what Jesus would do lifts us out of our doldrums into a higher quality of life. And yet, we often think that imitating Jesus is something burdensome. It’s not! Doing what Jesus would do feeds us emotionally and lifts our spirits. One experiences the flow of the Spirit in the context of serving others.