The cry of anguish Why me? must be almost ubiquitous when life goes wrong. When faced with the big challenges, we inevitably find ourselves asking some form of this question. For a believer in God this question is directed as God, for the non-believer perhaps, at the universe. I think we'll all in pretty good company as the psalmists asked this question too. One could even argue that Jesus' words on the cross "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" come from the same place.
And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think God's big enough to take it and certainly doesn't need me to stand up for him. But I was reminded on Sunday about the value of this question in a totally different context. How about asking Why me? when things are going well.
I would be inaccurate to describe my life thus far as a bed of roses or to try to deny that I have had to make sacrifices and work hard to get where I am. I think it is very easy to turn such truths into a self-made-man myth that so pervades our culture. And a myth it really is.
I have had the following huge advantages. I was born in the UK, the sixth richest country in the world. I have had up until university, free education. I went to university when fees were a lot lower than they are now. All through my life I have had access to free healthcare. As a child, I had a mother who had the simple expectation that we would do our best. Nothing more, nothing less. Failure was always acceptable, not trying was not. At various stages of career and life I have had countless valuable opportunities. I lost my mother relatively young but because she planned well, I've had a big headstart financially.
So I find myself with a home, a career that is challenging and rewarding and interesting. I have true and real friends. I have traveled widely, I have an expensive and interesting hobby. This could end up being a long, long list. It is true that I have made much of what has been given to me, but seriously how much have I been given!!
So inevitably, I have to ask the question: Why me God? Why am I so, so, so blessed?
There are some important ways to think about that question but for now just one thought: Please Lord, let me never, ever take it for granted.