There was a 92-year-old petite, well-poised and proud lady, who was always fully dressed each morning by 8 o’clock. Her hair was fashionably styled even though she was legally blind, and her makeup was always perfectly applied. Today she is moving into a nursing home. As friends and family were stressed about her situation, it was necessary because her husband of 70 years recently passed away and she was not about to burden her children, who lived thousands of miles away, and she was resolute in the fact that she was not moving from her town of birth, her friends nor her church.
She arrived via her friends to the nursing home early. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, the aide provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she said with the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. The aide replied, “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t even seen the room yet; just wait.” “That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged; it is how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It is a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice — I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift from God, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away just for this time in my life.”
Brothers and sisters, Mrs. Jones has given us great advice. It is advice that was lived long before it was spent. You see, old age is like a bank account — you withdraw from it what you have put into it. So, my advice to you today would be to deposit a lot of happiness in your bank account of memories, and never forget the five simple rules I will give you to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
6. Love Jesus (Oh, I forgot, you’d better put that last one first.)