I saw this little gem on a bumper sticker the other day while on a walk.
Six or seven years ago, when I was enamored with Zen Buddhism, I might have missed the humor in this. I would have played with it a bit, feeling out the implicit irony (in good Richard Rorty fashion). I would have enjoyed tumbling it in my head like a mysterious koan.
Many people spend a majority of their lives "playing the Hokey Pokey." We stick our right foot into our career and "shake it all around"....we stick our left foot into acquiring more extravagant material goods and.....well, you get the picture. The problem with the Hokey Pokey is that it�s all just fun and games. At the end of the day, it doesn't leave us much in the way of anything eternal.
The Hokey Pokey doesn't point us toward the real business of "bringing forth fruit worthy of repentance" (Matt. 3:8) and "working out our salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12b). So, yes we should "turn ourselves about" as the poem goes. But that metonia, that turning around should be away from the friviolity of the world and toward a vision of the world to come. A part of me recognizes that procrastination and blindness in myself--the desire to mindlessly fritter away my time.
Sometimes, I'd rather be playing the Hokey Pokey and believing "that's what it's all about it."