What is Your Drum? ~ by Stanton Lanier (Copyright 2012, not to be re-published without permission)
I am a conflicted human being. Dad has a PhD in analytical chemistry and Mom majored in art. I grew up liking math and numbers. Sometimes I still catch myself counting my steps as I walk. I can hear musical melodies in my head, and started composing by ear when I was fourteen. I majored in chemistry, have an M.B.A., and spent fifteen years in the business world before becoming a pianist-composer in 2004.
Growing up I kept discovering what I didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be a doctor. My mom talked me into being a Candy Striper volunteer at our local hospital when I was fourteen. I didn’t like the sight of blood, but was determined to conquer this fear. One day I got the courage to watch a nurse draw blood into a tube from a lady’s arm. Shortly thereafter, standing straight up, I fainted outside the hospital gift shop. My medical career was over. I still have a knot on my head where it hit the concrete floor.
I searched for my calling at a canoe rental, a paper mill, a carpet plant, a soft drink facility, a consulting firm and an insurance company. Then, at age thirty, I experienced what I call “career surrender.” I basically said, “Lord, I give up. Please show me what you want me to be.” My steps were so clearly directed to a financial planning job that I thought I would work there for the rest of my career. What I began to learn, however, was to surrender my faith, my family, my work and my life to God.
The Little Drummer Boy story has always inspired me. At the end the poor little drummer boy says, “What gift can I bring?” as he stands before the baby Jesus. He sees the gifts from the wise men and knows he cannot afford a gift so grand. His friend says, “play your drum.” As he plays the baby Jesus smiles. What a beautiful picture. I believe we all have a special “drum” to play that is unique to us. Some of us discover this very early in life. For some of us it takes time for it to surface. Sadly, some of us don’t look for it, or keep putting it off until “someday.”
What is your drum?