Friday, December 24, 2010

The Little Drummer Boy

I don't like that song. It's always been one of my least favorite Christmas carols, what with all the "rum-pa-pum-pum"-ing. I don't like to sing along to it. I find it redundant. It's really at the bottom of the list. I mean, I prefer "Mele Kalikimaka." That tells you where "The Little Drummer Boy" falls.

In the car today, I heard Bob Seger singing "The Little Drummer Boy." Bob Seger. Like, "Old Time Rock & Roll" Bob Seger. Singing "The Little Drummer Boy."


But I actually listened to the song. Not because I have any particular affinity for Bob Seger; I just wanted to hear how he sang it. I actually listened to the lyrics and realized something interesting:

The Little Drummer Boy didn't just play; he played his best.

Now, this doesn't move the song up much in my esteem. It's still an annoying song. But I suddenly have an appreciation for that kid that I didn't have before. He realized that it wasn't just about the playing. There are two components here:

1. The kid presented something with which he'd been gifted.
2. The kid did it to the best of his ability.

God provides us all with different gifts. I've blogged before about how I sometimes wish my gift was singing. Everyone's got unique gifts. Everyone has something to offer. Talents and abilities are just as much an offering to God as a monetary tithe. Use what you've got! Find a place to serve in the church! Give back what you've been given! There's always a place for you and what you can do; you just have to ask around till you find it.

One of our church's core values is, "Excellence is evident in all things." Nothing is worse than someone doing something in the name of God and doing it terribly.

Well, there are probably worse things. But this is pretty bad.

Too often people think, "Well, only church people are going to see this. It's good enough." Putting in the minimum amount of effort doesn't reflect well on you. Fortunately, it can't make God look bad—he stays awesome regardless—but it can make his believers look pretty silly. It's also not a great way to point people to God. Who wants to be part of a mediocre group?

So as this year ends and a new year begins, think about what your contribution is and if you're doing it to the best of your ability. I know I have some areas in which I need to improve. I need to stop procrastinating on things God's placed on my heart and use the gifts he's given me well and in a timely fashion.

How about you?


  1. Great insights for the season...and for everyday!

  2. I have to admit; I love that song! I love it because, like you said, the little boy only has a drum, but he does his very best! I always get a lump in my throat when I hear that song. It's such a beautiful picture to me. :) (Have you ever heard Jars of Clay's version - it's pretty good!)

    Merry Christmas, Rachel!!

  3. Catie, I was going to ask her the exact same thing: how can you hear Jars of Clay do "Little Drummer Boy" and hate it? It's like my all time fave...right below "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

    Having just finished working on Christmas Eve services, I'm trying to figure out how to balance my gifts with's proving to be a bigger challenge than I thought it would. Drat!

  4. I haven't heard the Jars of Clay version. I honestly don't try to find better versions of that song. lol But I'll check it out just for you guys! :)

  5. OK---I found it. I think I prefer the Harry Connick, Jr. version to the Jars of Clay. But a good performer still doesn't change the monotony of the tune or the incessant pa-rum-pa-pum-pum-ing!

  6. That is funny to me about that song because I never liked it either.
    I too finally heard the words by Chicago one day while in the shower (too much info) and I couldn't change the track.
    I too realized what you did about his gift giving.
    THANK YOU for your inspiring and thought provoking posts!
    I have some more thinking to do after this...

    Happy Holidays!

  7. All I can say is, it's your loss, Rachel. ;) HA!

  8. I used to feel that way about the song. Then my son was chosen to play the Little Drummer boy in the Christmas pageant this year and I got to get up close and personal with the song. My son was a perfect fit for the role, the third son in our family and probably struggling with finding his fit. But being the Lead in the Christmas Pageant gave him a spotlight and he did his absolute best for Him.

    I'll never hear that song without thinking of my Ben playing his drum for Him. Even with all the pa-rum-pa-pum-pums. (which I agree are a little much! ;)


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