Pete The Cat Meets the Little Drummer Boy

Posted on December 23, 2018


Christmas is the day after tomorrow.  Today I find myself in the enviable if somewhat unusual position of having nothing on my plate for which the failure to accomplish it would have a bad result.  (Thank you, Lord, for an actual sabbath rest[1]).  I plan to watch a football game, but thought I should also update my badly neglected blog.

Last month, I was at my niece’s baby shower.  Maybe it was my great-niece’s shower.  I forget, is the shower for the mother or the baby?  Anyway, my other niece (her cousin), put together a trivia game in which the participants were to identify quotes from children’s books and the author.  The only one I did not know was, “I love my white shoes.  I love my white shoes.  I love my white shoes.”  It is from Pete the Cat which came out too late to have been a book I read to my children.

When I saw my niece at Thanksgiving, she loaned me Pete the Cat.  I must say that of all the books I read this year, Pete the Cat was the most inspiring.  Pete is walking along singing about how much he loves his white shoes.  He subsequently steps in strawberries, blueberries, and mud turning his shoes red, blue, and brown.  At each turn of events, Pete keeps walking along and singing his song.  The moral in the end is, “No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song. Because it’s all good.”  Imagine the impact to our joy as adults if we were able to take what happens to us and keep going along singing.

Since I don’t have a smooth transition here, let me just acknowledge that I am abruptly shifting topics.

Whether you are a musician or just a music lover, you may have some songs you are embarrassed to admit that you like.  These are the songs that really are not very good or are terribly sappy, but mean something to you anyway.  The Little Drummer Boy is on that list for me.  Calling it a Christian song would be somewhat questionable as it has no basis in scripture.  The thought of playing a drum as a gift for a newborn is absurd.

I had settled in before service this morning, and the band was playing an instrumental version of The LDB.  Even without the lyrics being sung, I could feel that catch of breath and the tears start to well in the third verse (at least it was their 3rd time through it).

Here’s where I think it is really good theology.  None of has any gift to bring the Lord that is worthy of him.  The best we can do is to show up (at his invitation) and play our best for him (imperfect as we are).  And he smiles at us.  Our desire to please him, to give him our imperfect best in all of our brokenness, is pleasing to him.  And he smiles at us.

As you are reading this, I have no idea what you have stepped in this year.  As we celebrate the savior coming to the world, my hope is that you can keep walking along and singing your song, and feeling the Lord smile at you as you do the best you can.

Have a blessed Christmas.

[1] I recognize that my normal busyness is a self-inflicted wound.  I know how to say “no” in 6 languages.  I could choose to exercise the skill more frequently.