“Set a Spell…Take Your Shoes Off…”
I grew up watching “classic” TV sitcoms in the early 1970’s. You know…the good stuff: Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and Leave It To Beaver. This was good, wholesome, entertaining TV. 🙂
Do you remember The Beverly Hillbillies? I gotta admit I loved the bluegrass infused theme song of this silly show. At the very end of the closing song–when the Clampetts are waving goodbye to everyone at their front door, and the singer is “inviting us back to this locality to have a heapin’ helpin’ of their hospitality”–he says something interesting. Do you remember the line?
He says, “Set a spell…take your shoes off…” Hmm..what a novel idea!
If you’ve ever watched the show you know that aside from the fact these hillbillies are millionaires, they’re really just plain, simple people. They’re not in a hurry. They move at their own enjoyable pace of life, uniquely navigating the rush of city folk who are hurriedly and constantly a part of their lives.
But something about the phrase “Set a spell…take your shoes off…” sounds refreshingly inviting, doesn’t it? Think about it. We rush to work in the morning, rush through rush hour on the way home, quickly fix dinner (or hustle on over to the drive-thru), as we scurry on to whatever evening event that awaits us. Then we hotfoot it back home, frantically whirl through homework with the kids, give the kitchen a quick clean up, finish any other projects we may have, then make a mad dash to bed. And guess what happens next? We get up tomorrow and do the exact same thing. Ugh!
Let’s go back to “set a spell…take your shoes off…” I think there’s a powerful lesson we gotta hear from these hillbillies. There’s a gift we all too often overlook, take for granted, and just plain choose to neglect…and that’s called the gift of time. We don’t take time. We don’t make time.
Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, wrote “I sometimes wonder if we are moving through time, or whether time is moving through us.” Totally, right?
Here’s my challenge for us all: Give the gift of time. Whether you give this gift to yourself, to a family member, a coworker, neighbor, or shut-in, simply give the gift of time. “Set a spell…take your shoes off…” Listen. Share. Laugh. Take a break. Read. Savor that cup of coffee over conversation. Unplug. Slow down. Unwind. Let your guard down. Enjoy the moment. Relax.
If it’s true that “time is moving through us,” then there’s no time like the present to give this gift away. So, what are you waiting for? “Set a spell…take your shoes off…”