I stopped at the local gas station with my oldest son to fill-up my car the other day. I told him to go on in and get himself a can of pop while I pumped the gas. After I finished and got in line to pay I looked to see where he was. I soon found him by the front doors of the store. He was opening one for a woman with her arms full of groceries.

He accepted her thanks with a cheerful "no problem" and quickly moved to the other door to open it for a little girl struggling to pull it out. I smiled when I saw this wonderful goodness, kindness, politeness, and helpfulness in my son. He was so full of the habits of love that it warmed my heart. I told him what a fine, young man he has become as we walked back to the car. It is something I can never tell him enough.

The theologian John Powell once wrote that, "The habits formed in youth can become the tyrants in old age." As I look at the beautiful, loving habits of my own children I think that they can also become the blessings as well. My oldest son’s habits are so joyful and caring that everyone shines brighter when he is around. My daughter’s habits too are full of compassion, sharing, and gentleness. All that she wants to do with her life is to help others, and that is just what she does every single day. My youngest son has many habits of love as well. His habit of smiling is contagious and his habit of laughter can uplift the heaviest heart.

You don’t have to be young, however, to form the habits of love. It is never too late to choose them. They can become your blessings not just in old age but at any age. You can start today to fill your life with the happiness they create, joy they share, and oneness with God they bring. You can open doors with your kindness, open hearts with your helpfulness, and open souls with your goodness. God gives you a lifetime to learn the habits of love and to share them with the world. May you always delight in doing so.

Joe Mazzella lives in the mountains of West Virginia, USA with his wife and three children. He writes articles for local newspapers but derives happiness from the joy and love he shares with others.. Joe can be reached at; joemazzella@frontier.com