Resolutions

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s funny how you can hear a song a thousand times, sung in dozens of different ways, and then one day, it just hits you as something fresh. Something new.

Christmas Eve. Sitting in church. They played The Little Drummer Boy. You’ve heard it. You know the words. Probably a fictional account. Certainly an extra-biblical one. Great song. Not only have I heard it a myriad of times, I’ve sung it that many, too.

This time, there was something about the singer. He was, like most singers you’ll find in the Nashville area (whether in a church or a karaoke bar), a singer-songwriter. Also, extremely talented. He looked just older than middle-aged, yet not quite in his twilight years. He was softly graying. Maybe in his early fifties.

But man, could this guy sing. He had a bluesy rasp to his voice and a commanding presence on stage that channeled BB King. While I didn’t recognize this guy, the pastor knew him and called him on stage to sing for us. Sing he did. He sang his song for us. He sang his best for us. Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum.

And that’s the part of the song that stood from the page and came to life for me. I don’t know what it was that day. Call it Christmas magic, if you want, but I prefer to think that God hand-delivered a message. It’s the only way I can explain it. I sat a little straighter in my chair and took notice, and the Holy Spirit gave me a high five.

That part of the song, the Drummer boy says, I have no gift to bring that’s fit to give a king. Shall I play for you on my drum? Mary nodded, the ass kept time, and the Drummer boy played his best for him.

Here’s what got me: Jesus smiled at him.

It’s that simple. I find the most powerful truths are.

This kid had nothing. Certainly nothing fit to give a king. He didn’t have fancy clothes, nicely polished shoes, Michael Kors watches, the latest Iphone, Prada handbags, etc. Context clues tell me his drum wasn’t even that great. It wasn’t a drum a king should have, that’s for sure. This kid had only his God-given talent. And he took that talent, and gave it back to God, doing the best he could. And it made Jesus smile.

Let that marinate.

Sitting there in the afterglow of that carol, my mind recalled the Parable of the Talents. A quick Google search tells me what a talent was: In the Old Testament, a talent was a unit of measurement for weighing precious metals, usually gold and silver. In the New Testament, a talent was a value of money or coin. If you aren’t familiar with the parable, here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

A master has three servants and gives each of them a bit of money, trusting that they’ll invest it well. He goes away and comes back, asking how each fared. The first and second invested well, doubling or tripling what was given to him in interest. The third hid his money, fearing he would make poor decisions and lose all or part of it. The master was angry at the third.

As I write this, I’m reminded of an old song by a Christian Ska band called The Insyderz. The song is called Sacrifice. The refrain says, “What can I give him, as poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I’d give him a lamb. If I were a wiseman, I’d do my part. What can I give him? I’ll give him my heart.”

As this year ends, you’re faced with the time-honored tradition of a New Year’s resolution. Some of you will choose for the fifteenth time to stop smoking, or to lose weight, either by diets, exercise, or just drinking a few less Cokes. My resolution this year will be the Christmas Eve message I received.

Whether you’re talking talents in the modern or Biblical sense, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you have, whatever God gave to you, just give it back. Maybe you’re a singer or a dancer. Maybe you’re good with money. Maybe you’re an artist. I’m a writer. Certainly, I don’t feel like what I have is fit for a king (have you read my books? I mean… shit), but it’s what I was given. And going forward, I’m writing with purpose. I’m going to give my best, and I encourage you to do the same. No matter what it is you do, even if you feel like it isn’t good enough or nobody cares, do your best. Whether you work your dream job or are stuck in a rut going nowhere. Doesn’t matter if you work a register at McDonald’s or mop floors. Whatever you do, do it for the king.

You just may make Jesus smile.

*****
Also, since I have your attention and this is a writing blog from a published author, I just want to let everyone know that I will be publishing again soon, though not as soon as I would have liked. Book 3 is well into development, but with the holidays, I’ve had precious little time to write. Expect it soon. Also, short stories and at least one more full-length novel in 2015. No better way to give my best than to produce more material I hope you’re as excited to read it as I am to share it with you.

All the best for the new year!!
Joey

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