Call me the little drummer boy

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2018

By Nathan Rice

A lot of people are annoyed by the Christmas song called “The Little Drummer Boy.” It seems that the repeating “pa rum pum pum pum” just drives some people crazy. I don’t dislike this song, but I can understand their annoyance. I often turn the station or hit the skip button when “The 12 Days of Christmas” comes through my stereo. I can only hear the drawn-out “five golden rings” so many times in the holiday season.

“The Little Drummer Boy” tells of a fictitious boy who has no gift to bring to the newborn King. He, like Jesus, is a poor boy. He has no gift to bring, but he gives what he can when he plays his drum for the King.

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I, like the little drummer in the song, don’t have much to offer the King whose birth I celebrate this Christmas. My talents aren’t great, and my resources are small.

I try to do all that I can for Him in the hopes that what I present is pleasing to Him. I place every sermon I preach in His hands, but I understand that I am not Billy Graham. Stadiums will never be filled because I am presenting a message. My words are typically only heard by a handful of people.

Likewise, the work I do with children hasn’t accomplished much. I continually try to help the smallest among us whose lives are troubled because of the world around them. I love them as my own and do all I can to make their days better. Nevertheless, I know I will never affect entire villages like Mother Teresa was able to do with her ministry. The work I’ve placed in this effort has been largely unsuccessful and lives that have been influenced through these efforts are hard to find.

The lessons I teach to youth and children are diligently prepared to the best of my ability. I continually research the latest ways to teach different ages, study hard, prepare harder, pour myself into every teaching, and do everything in my power to make learning fun. Like the rest of my efforts, however, these are only heard by a few young people and positive results have yet to be seen.

I want to be like the Magi who presented exciting gifts to the young King. Gold, frankincense and myrrh were all valuable items that must have been inspiring to the young boy and His peasant family. I wish I could point to those my life and ministry has helped as a way to present a gift to the King on the day I celebrate His birth.

I, however, do not have these gifts to give. How can I possibly present my efforts as a gift to the King of Kings? How can my failed to attempts to fly be given as a birthday gift to the One who created the world? But like the little drummer boy, it’s all I can give.

The great thing is that I don’t have to present a fancy gift. He only asks for what I can give. I lay my efforts at the feet of Jesus, I place my life in His hands, and I give Him my shattered heart. Like the little drummer boy, it’s all I have to give, and I think it places a smile on His face. Happy birthday Jesus. I love You.

Nathan Rice is a Hampton Roads native and can be reached at