“The Little Drummer Boy” is a Christmas carol you either love or hate. For me, it’s my favorite carol, and I look forward to when a music artist bangs out (pun intended) a new rendition of this holiday classic.

Although it’s words are simple and the character is fictional, it’s meaning deserves a second look.

This song is not just a cute carol about some poor kid with two sticks and a drum who had been invited to go see a king who had just been born. It’s more than that. You see, this kid had no costly gift to give to this new born king.

As the other travelers reveled in their elegant gifts I'm sure he was feeling despondent knowing he had nothing to offer. Nothing, that is, except for his ability to pound out a beat for the king on the drum hanging by a tattered cloth from his neck. And that’s exactly what he did despite what the others thought.

We are all like this drummer boy who had been invited to meet the King. You too may feel like you have nothing to offer, but your drum is what you feel beating inside your chest. And when you give that to the King, He reciprocates and gives your life purpose. He doesn’t demand costly gifts like the others in the song brought; instead, He gives you some sticks and a drum and invites you to play your best for Him.

How can you do this? You can do this when you use your talents to the best of your ability. You can do this when you give of yourself to those you know and to those you don't know by showing them love, gratitude, compassion and honesty. There are many things you can do; be creative! Just reach out to others and do your best, be your best — play your best.

I hope we all were like the little drummer boy and played our best for Jesus this Christmas. Were you playing your best for Him?

JONATHAN SOUTHWICK

Saegertown

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