The “Little Drummer Boy” has been my favorite Christmas Carol for as long as I can remember. Of all of the holiday songs, I can honestly say that it is the only one that truly moves me. Always has…always will. The idea of a young boy, too poor to afford a fitting gift for the “new born king”, attempting to honor him with that which he does have is a great lesson for all of us. We spend too much time stressing out and concerning ourselves with what is absent in our lives and not enough time focusing on what really matters. The drummer boy may not be able to afford the expensive and fancy gifts that others have brought, but he has something better…he can offer the gift of his unique strengths and talents and that which makes him truly special. He has no material gift to offer but what he CAN do is play his drum like no one else is capable of playing it…and so he does. The fact that his play is met by approval and acceptance from Mary and the animals is certainly of no surprise, because when one is engaged in pursuing one’s passion and offering the very personal gift of doing what one does best, the power is undeniable and clear to all.
Isn’t that what it’s really all about? We all have to find our own personal “drum” and then play it the best we can. For me, I never feel more truly alive than when I’m standing in front of a class of students or a seminar room full of teachers. That’s my drum I’m playing up there and I’m going to play the heck out of it. The line, “I played my best for him,” is a call to arms and a challenge to meet. Forget about all of things that you can’t control and make sure that you are playing your drum to the best of your abilities and with all of the passion, enthusiasm, and heart that you can muster. Nothing else really matters. There is no finer gift or higher honor that you can offer to the world than to find out what your “drum” is and then play it for all it’s worth.