When asked on his 90th birthday how he stays so youthful, he replied, “Too blessed to be stressed!” Walking down the hall, he announced, “I’m too blessed to be stressed!” Talking to patients, he explains, “You’re too blessed to be stressed.” I’ve never seen a man smile so much, and continue, with persistence, to proclaim his gratitude to God.
I met him at my workplace, a Bay Area cancer center, where an organization called Phil’s Friends visited to distribute care packages to the patients. This lovely, young man of 90 years came along with his granddaughter to help distribute the packages. As we were getting ready to distribute them we piled into a small meeting room to stage everything and to open with a prayer and a few handshakes. What we didn’t expect to get was a beautiful gospel song sung by our new 90-year-old friend, a former preacher and gospel singer/songwriter.
Phil’s Friends distributed many care packages at the cancer center today, but I think the most important thing they delivered was the gift of hope through their conversations, their smiles, and even a few gospel hymns. As I peaked into one woman’s room after her visit from Phil’s Friends, I saw a peace that passes understanding settling into a restful and joyful smile as if all her worry had been washed away. She had been reminded that she was blessed.
If we never stop proclaiming that we are “too blessed to be stressed” as if it is the very breath that brings us life, we don’t give the enemy the opportunity to steal our joy. And when we are not strong enough to proclaim it, may we be surrounded by friends that remind us of our blessings even in our weakest moments. We will not all live to be 90, but we can keep reminding ourselves that we are favored every moment until our last breath.
There are many ways you can give hope to others. Start by speaking hope into the lives of your friends and family. Soon you will find, not only are you too blessed to be stressed, you are also too blessed not to share it with the grocery store cashier, your coworkers, the world.