Actors: Doctor, Patient 1 and 2. (See below, for alternate patient complaints relevant for teens)
DOCTOR: Hello. I am Dr. O'Connor and I want to warn you about a possible epidemic. We have been getting a lot of patients lately who have symptoms of the
"Why Me virus." This virus is highly contagious, so be aware. In fact today, I am seeing
two new patients who are showing symptoms of this virus.
PATIENT 1: Doctor, I am so glad you could see me. I have to get some relief and find out what's wrong with me! I can't sleep at night because my mind keeps replaying over and over "Why me? Why me?" I think my family has caused this sickness: you see my grown children are constantly borrowing money from me. Do you know they never even call me or come see me unless they want something? That's not all. My husband is just as bad. He works all the time, and when he does come home, he watches sports on TV and falls asleep in his recliner. I deserve some appreciation and conversation! I didn't ask for this! I keep asking God, "WHY ME?"
DOCTOR: It sounds like you definitely have the "Why me?" virus. Wait over here and in a few minutes I will give you a prescription. (HE MOTIONS FOR HER TO SIT IN ONE OF THE CHAIRS IN FRONT)
PATIENT 2: Doc, thanks for seeing me. I think I am going crazy! I can't keep these angry thoughts out of my head. In fact I have started talking to myself and the phrase I keep saying is
"Why me?" See, my neighbor is ruining my life. I am a good person. I am fair and honest and hard working. But my neighbor, who is lazy and sloppy and dishonest just won the lottery. Can you believe it? Why would God reward someone like her with all that money when she will waste it all? I know she will be over here everyday showing me her new stuff to make me jealous while I am trying to stretch every dollar so I can pay my bills. Why did God put me next
door to her? I keep asking God, "Why me? Why me?"
DOCTOR: You are the 2nd patient today with the Why Me virus symptoms. Sit down over here and I am going to give both of you a prescription that will cure you if you take it faithfully. (THE DOCTOR HAS HER SIT NEXT TO PATIENT #1 WHILE HE GETS THE PRESCRIPTION.)
DOCTOR: (Talking to both patients) Here is my diagnosis after studying your symptoms. You both have the "Why me?" virus and these are the symptoms. (He pulls out his chart)
1. Focusing solely on yourself and your problems.
2. Blaming people, circumstances or God for your problems.
3. Feeling like you do not have the good life you deserve.
If you take this medicine faithfully, you will improve: hopefully all your symptoms will go away and you will feel much better. The prescription is for at least one dose each morning and evening. But unlike other medicines, you can take this one as often as you like; in fact, the more you take the better you will feel. The best news is these prescriptions don't cost a penny! (HE HANDS EACH PATIENT A PIECE OF PAPER WITH THE PRESCRIPTION ON IT).
Let's go over the instructions.
Medicine #1: Read this verse from the Bible each morning when you get up and again just before going to sleep. "I have learned to be content in whatever state I find myself" Philippians 4:11. These words were written by a man named Paul when he was in prison. Funny words to be writing from prison, but he meant them.
Medicine #2: And read Psalm 100:3, both morning and evening, "Be thankful to the Lord and bless his name." (HE MOTIONS FOR THEM TO LEAVE.) "Take these meds for two weeks and let me know how you feel."
Let's think about these two people with the WHY ME virus. Did they have some legitimate complaints? Yes. But they were so focused on the things they didn't have (appreciation, conversation, money) that they were miserable. As we look at the prescriptions, we will see how all of us can get over this virus all of us are prone to catch!
Think about Paul who wrote the words "I have learned to be content in whatever state I am in." He was in prison and in Bible times prisons were not like they are today. He may well have been chained, and the cells were dark and damp. But he meant it when he said he was content. How could he be? Because he wasn't focused on himself, once he believed that Jesus had died for his sins, he started down a new path: telling everyone he could about how Jesus had died for his sins and for theirs and about how they could be forgiven. He knew he would suffer: he was beaten, he got shipwrecked, he was bitten by a poisonous snake on one of his missionary journeys and almost died. But he was content in all his suffering because he knew people were coming to faith in Christ because of him. Real contentment and joy doesn't come from having a perfect life or a husband who says: "Let's turn off the TV and just talk tonight," although that would certainly be a nice surprise. Real contentment doesn't come from having your grown children stop by to see you just because they missed you so much--though that is nice too. Contentment doesn't come from winning the lottery or having more money than your neighbor. Those things make us feel good for awhile. But lasting contentment can only come with having a heart that is right with God.
Prescription #2: "Be thankful to the Lord and bless his name" Psalm 100:3. Praising the Lord-- thanking the Lord. When you are doing this every day, when you wake up, when you go to bed, and sometimes in between, it is not likely you will be having a pity party at the same time. (You might tell of a personal experience. For example, one time, for a couple weeks, I wrote down every day things I was thankful for, adding a few new things every day. They weren't all big things. One day I was sitting on our screened in porch and several birds were singing, each with a different song. It seemed to me that they were singing to God and to me. That day I was thankful for the birds' song. I was thankful that I had the leisure time to sit there in peace instead of rushing off to work. Little things, but things God gave me.)
1. Be content with what God has given you. If you can change something bad in your life, do it. But the things you don't have control over, give them to God and be content, knowing his plans for you are always for good. (Jeremiah 29:11)
2. Praise God and thank him every day, and be specific. (e.g. "God, thank you that we got that rain we needed so badly. Lord, I bless you because you have given me a family and I am not alone.")
Finish with a personal story, such as the one about my friends who couldn't have children, Pam and her husband Stewart. Pam's passion was to open a tea room in their home, but obstacles kept coming up and she got discouraged. It was a time in my life when I was discouraged too about problems in my family. Pam lived 30 minutes away and we were friends, but had only done things together a couple times. One day at lunchtime she showed up at my door with 2 baskets in tow. She told me "I think you need a tea party." As she laid everything out, there were little sandwiches and scones and two kinds of tea and pretty napkins and place cards with Bible verses on them and a vase of flowers for our table. She had gone all out. We had a wonderful time and our spirits were lifted. Pam could have had the "Why Me?" virus, but instead she decided to show the love of Jesus to me. Would she have been happier staying at home and feeling sorry for herself? No. When we take the focus off ourselves and our problems and give to others we quickly recover from the "Why Me?" virus.
Adapted for youth group for Patient 1 and Patient 2
Doc, I'm glad you could fit me in. I have a serious problem. Every day at school I pass hundreds of kids in the halls. They don't speak to me or even look at me. Sometimes I wonder if I'm invisible! Every day I eat lunch alone. Why did my parents move here where I don't have any friends? I'm really lonely. I ask God every day, "Why me? Why am I in this place I hate? Why me?"
My mom made this appointment for me. She thinks something's wrong with me because I spend all my time in my room. Well, she's right! I'm angry and every day I ask God "Why me?" Why did my parents get a divorce? Why doesn't my dad ever come to my track meets or at least come by to see me? I just want to be part of a regular family, but it seems like only bad things happen to me. What did I do to deserve this? Why me?
Copyright 2018 Gail O'Connor
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