It is one of those songs. You know, the kind of song that gets stuck in your head and you can’t seem to get rid of it. It was a catchy tune; although a bit cheesy and goofy. But I think many of you, like me, would have to admit that we like it. Even now as I am typing I have this tremendous urge to begin nodding my head back and forth as the tune begins looping through my head. If you are over 40 you will probably remember it. And in a second here, I am going to write down the words and guess what is going to happen? You are probably going to get mad at me because you’ll have this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. I’ll go ahead and risk it because I know you will forgive me eventually. Remember these words from the Simon and Garfunkel song, “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy),”
“Slow down you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last… just skippin’ down the cobblestones… Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy. (Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah) Feelin’ groovy.”
Admit it, you’re probably already singing it right now. Your head is probably nodding back and forth. Heck, you might even be moving your hands up and down and side to side. It’s a happy song, it’s a “stop and smell the roses” kind of song. It’s a “life is what happens while you’re making other plans” kind of song. And even though it is a very simple song, I do not think it is a shallow song. The insightful lyrics and toe-tapping tune released by Simon and Garfunkel, have transcended generations. Why? Because in this consumer driven and time conscious culture that we live in, we all have a common longing…simplicity. Even with all the technological advances and time-saving devices, our lives seem to be increasingly more complicated.
Time is a funny thing. Before the invention of the clock, time was not measured in seconds, minutes, and hours. You had morning, afternoon, and night. Time was basically measured from day to day. Folks weren’t so preoccupied with time back then. Without clocks, they weren’t so time-conscious. There is an old Filipino saying that goes, “Westerners are people with gods on their wrist.” Isn’t it interesting that a little thing with a face and two hands (or a display on a cell phone)…a thing that fastens to our wrists(or belt buckles), can condition how we act, react, and respond in life.
I think the invention of the clock is partly responsible for the Western world becoming so productive, which is good, I guess. But I wonder what we have sacrificed in the process. There is also an old Kenyan saying that goes, “Westerners have watches but no time.” Being so conscious of time drives us to be productive, but in striving to produce, we often fail to build…build what is most important, that is…relationships.
We need to be responsible with what God has given us. But maybe sometimes, being responsible with what God has given us, means that we need to simplify… slow down… enjoy… drink in the beauty around us…or at least notice it. Maybe we need to spend less time worrying about how we are going to provide for our kid’s future-and just be with our kids. Maybe we need to spend less time busting our tails to retire someday, and remember to live our lives in the ever present now. Maybe we need to do more little things that pay huge dividends…things like, sitting on the couch, hugging our wives, and listening to what they have to say.
I think folks that lived before the invention of the clock may have measured time the right way. Matthew 6:34 says, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Simon and Garfunkel were on to something. But, Jesus has been saying it for a lot longer.