Why Me? (No I’m Not Throwing a Pity Party)

In the nearly three years since I’ve been writing this weekly column, ideas for future topics have flowed through my brain at peculiar times and places.  The impetus for this week’s piece came from of all things, a trip to the men’s room.  How can a trip to relieve oneself result in a seven-hundred some odd word essay?  Glad you asked.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been the public address announcer at Mansfield Stadium for the past twenty-two seasons.  I just concluded my fifteenth, and unfortunately my final year as the PA voice for the Senior League World Series.  The World Series will be headed to Easley, South Carolina beginning next summer.  It was a great run, one I’ll look back on many years from now with great fondness.  As I’m oft to do between games i head down to the restroom.  Unlike other sports I’m involved with there is no halftime break in baseball.  Baseball also doesn’t have a clock so a game can take anywhere from an hour and half to upwards of three hours plus.

As I made my way down following an afternoon contest, there was a group of adults who possessed an array of challenges exiting the stands.  Some couldn’t walk, others could walk yet did so with great difficulty.  There were those in the group who couldn’t control their muscles in the way the majority of us take for granted.  Some could not speak coherently and made involuntary noises.  Many within that group of people along the first baseline needed some sort of assistance from the aides that worked with them.  They were there, just like everyone else in attendance on that balmy early August day, enjoying our national pastime.

As I slowly made my way down, I say slowly because it was difficult to get by on the ramp due to several needing assistance to exit, the question popped into my head:  Why me?  Lord, of all the people on planet Earth, why did you bless me so?  Why did you afford me this opportunity to be able to walk, run, and think coherently?  Why did you bless me with some gifts and talents, talents that have enriched my life immensely and hopefully have brought joy to others?

We often ask the question, why me, when tragic events touch our lives.  When we get some bad news medically.  When circumstances don’t materialize the way we think they should in our workplace.  When our relationships turn sour and even dissolve.  If we don’t have a lot of solid relationships in the first place.  When we look at others who outwardly seem prosperous and we struggle to make ends meet.  For all these things and more we’ll throw up our hands and cry out, why me?

My encounter with this group of baseball fans caused me to pause, take inventory, and give thanks for all I have been blessed with.  I have been blessed with talents in areas that I am truly passionate about.  The Lord has given me a voice that has been used to announce games for over half my life.  As much as I enjoy other aspects of my life, I’m never more in my element or happy place than when I’m behind a microphone at a local sporting event.  Lord, why did you take this person, who wasn’t very athletic himself, and afford him so many wonderful opportunities in sports?

I’ve been blessed with health beyond measure, at least for the first forty-four years of my life.  Other than as an infant, I haven’t spent one single day as a patient in a hospital.  I’ve been given abilities to make a fruitful living for myself.  While I don’t live in a fancy home or drive an expensive car, I don’t have to look far to find those who are in a much more precarious situation than I.  I’ve never had to concern myself with having a roof over my head or where my next meal is going to come from.

You see, I and probably most of you reading this, have been blessed beyond measure.  We have been given so much more in this life than we even deserve.  For me, when I think of the ways I have been blessed and gifted I can only think of one question to ask.  Oh dear Lord, why me?

Bob Beatham

About Bob Beatham

Bob, a lifelong Bangor resident, has just completed his 21st season as the Public Address Announcer at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor. Bob is also the public address voice for John Bapst Crusader football. He also currently serves as the scorekeeper for John Bapst basketball. Bob is an avid follower of Maine high school athletics, particularly football and basketball. The University of Maine at Farmington graduate is the service coordinator at Aging Excellence, which provides in-home care for seniors..