“I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth!” Lou Gehrig spoke these words on July 4, 1939. He had just been forced to retire from the game he loved and diagnosed with an illness that would devastate his body and lead to his death in a short time. How could he be lucky? Here is his short speech that day:
Fans, for the past two weeks, you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift—that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies—that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter—that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body—it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed—that’s the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.
—Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium, July 4, 1939
Always be joyful. Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
Okay, sure, we have all had bad breaks. Sometimes things don’t go so well, or as well as we would like. But let’s remember the things and the people we should be grateful for. We have all had some pretty good breaks as well! So, now it is your turn—you are standing at home plate of Yankee Stadium, the place is packed, all the microphones are right in front of you. You start your speech: “Today, I . . .”
We pray, Lord, for You to give us a noticing eye to recognize all those who have helped us and a caring heart to share with them our appreciation. Let us let them know how truly thankful we are. Lord, we are grateful that You placed all those individuals in our lives who have made the time for us and loved us even when we felt unlovable. “We consider ourselves the luckiest people on the face of the earth!”
Have a grateful day.