As I begin my new book project, I struggle with that voice that says, “You’re not good enough.” While I can’t quiet the voice, I can remind myself that this book is my offering to God. I’ve been thinking of the Little Drummer Boy.
My mother was one to listen to Christmas songs year-round, or at least starting in August. She would break out the Mannheim Steamroller vinyl and turn the stereo up to at least 7.
She loved the classics as well as electronic music. One of her favorite songs was the Little Drummer Boy. This song tells the story of a young boy with nothing to give the baby Jesus. With Mary’s blessing, he plays his drum.
Without fail, my mother cried every time it came on.
I seem to have inherited her Little Drummer Boy crying syndrome. Now when I hear the song, I remember her feeling so touched. It brings tears to my own eyes.
The simplicity of the story means each generation can learn from the little drummer boy.
Give now. Don’t wait to be an expert to give your best to God.
The little boy didn’t say, “Wait, I need to take some drum lessons and get better before I offer my song. I will come back in a few years.”
As I was talking to my husband about the song, he said he imagines the little drummer boy played the drum the way young children play drums, in a clumsy, charming way. The song doesn’t say, “Then the very best child drummer—a kid so good that had he been on YouTube 2,014 years in the future, he would have had 1 million views—played for Jesus.” It only says that he played.
Be a proud beginner.
As adults, we get caught up in looking like we know what we’re doing. How we look seems to matter more than what we feel and experience. How many new things do we avoid because of fear and the idea of “I don’t want to look stupid”?
Children are beginners at everything, even self-consciousness. They haven’t learned to be self-conscious.
What if we approached something new with an attitude of openness without worrying about how we look?
Remember it’s OK to look like a beginner. It means you are beginning something new!
Offer what you have with your heart.
The boy was motivated by his love for the Lord in this song. He could have gotten caught up in self-pity that he had no frankincense.
Whether you are offering a prayer, a smile, a glass of water or a devotional—do it with spirit and goodwill. Let your love for the Lord motivate you. Whatever you have to give, if you give it with love, it will be enough.
Be present to the moment of giving.
The boy wasn’t half-drumming, distracted by the score of a game. He focused on what he was giving.
How often are you present? All the time? Most of the time? Or like me, sometimes, here and there, when I am not distracted by ponies and to-do lists?
Think of a Japanese tea ceremony with its deliberate patience. Instead of tossing your offering in an off-hand way, present it with intention.
Center yourself and give part of yourself. The recipient of your generosity will feel your presence. You will gain more from the giving.
Lord, let us give what we can now:
Smiles to the lonely,
Peace to the troubled,
Food to the hungry,
A hand to the stumbling,
An ear to those not heard.
If we don’t have big tithes
or fancy prayers,
time for overseas missions
or prayerful retreats,
let us give what we can now:
A kind word,
A thank you.
Let us be the people who turn around
Guide us to become people who give
as you give:
Tell me your thoughts!
How have you been blessed this week? What will you give out of love for God? What would you like to learn?
9 thoughts on “4 free lessons from the Little Drummer Boy”
thank you Genevieve…
I really needed this today. my son and I have been trying to start a new beginning in our relationship that sometimes feels awkward, and i have felt that I should have all the answers… but reading this helps me remember that my best is good enough for today, and to offer what I can, and to keep trying even though I stumble around sometimes!
Yes! Thank you for such honesty, Barbara. I can relate to you about how confusing it can be to parent. Your best now is good enough! ❤ Bless you as you do the holy work of motherhood.
You never fail to inspire me! Your blessing today is one I intend to return to again and again. Thank you!
Bless you, Barb, for all you do. Thank you for this kind note! 😀
Thank you for writing about our mother today. I have been thinking how happy she would have been. She would cry joyful tears.
Yes! So wonderful! We can take the best and leave the rest. She had a deep love for children. ❤ Bless you today on your first day of grandmotherhood!
Your inspiring words have already turned around my day. Great lessons to live by.
This makes me smile 😀 Hope your week is blessed with more sunshine
LITTLE DRUMMER BOY ALWAYS MAKES ME CRY, TOO! It’s such a reminder of what can come from humility!