I think the “Little Drummer Boy” had it right.
The Christmas song tells the story about a little boy who comes before the Baby Jesus, realizing that he has no gift fit to give a King, no frankincense, gold, or myrrh–or the like. And so he decides to do the best thing he can–play for Jesus on his drum.
“I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum”
I can imagine the mixture of emotions that little, likely fictional, boy had. He knew he should offer something. He knew he had nothing of monetary value. He offered what he could. Playing his drum. Playing his best. What if it were not enough?
I also think of Eric Liddell, the great Scottish runner in the 1924 Olympics, about whom the movie “Chariots of Fire” was created. In the movie–but not in real life, apparently– Mr. Liddell says, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Though I realize now that it may only be a movie quote, it has stirred my soul and inspired me through the years. I imagine a man who ran, literally, after God’s own heart–and felt the reward of His pleasure, even if he hadn’t received the actual reward of winning (though he did).
I am not a runner or a drummer. I am a writer. I feel that mixture of the emotion of the little drummer boy–the knowledge that I should offer something of myself to the God I love. I also feel the fear: What if it is not good enough? When I write, I feel the exuberance with which at least the movie character Eric Liddell says, “I feel His pleasure.” Like the little drummer boy, I sense Jesus smiling.
When I do something with the talent I believe God has given me, I offer it, feeling His pleasure, sensing His smile. Why, then, do I even ask, “Is it good enough?” I know He is pleased just as I am when my child offers me his best. But like the little drummer boy, I don’t “play” silently. And like Eric Liddell, I don’t “run” privately. My writing–I believe–needs to be out loud and public. “Sound off,” I say.
Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
But it’s definitely scary.
My head on a platter? My heart exposed? My soul open for all to see? What if others don’t see my “light” as “good”?
But I must offer the best of myself to God, and I pray that it brings glory to Him.
Scary. But worth it.