I recently read Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung for a book club. Have you heard of it? Before I started reading it, I didn’t really consider myself to be a busy person. I have my job, our church, family, friends, and my personal hobbies (basically, this blog). I don’t have kids yet, I don’t fill my evenings with social events, and I’d be just as content staying in on a Friday night as looking for something to do. But since I read this book, I am reevaluating. I think I am busier than I am willing to admit.
DeYoung is a pastor and a self-proffessed busy person. He writes not as a preacher, but as a fellow Christian struggling to find balance between what needs to be done, and what does not need to be done. DeYoung doesn’t criticize the world, or the people in it, for being busy. He doesn’t blame technology or our desire to be with others. His solution is not to take away all the factors in our lives that make us busy. Because things and people and outside influences are never the problem. We are. And that is what DeYoung deals with, in a friendly, honest, and encouraging way.
Maybe you do not suffer from an overly-packed calendar, like I do. But maybe you suffer from guilt after watching a documentary on sex-trafficking because you wonder if you should be doing more. Maybe you worry about your kids too much, and if you are doing enough for them (his section on child-raising is fantastic!). Maybe you are finding it more difficult to focus on your pastor’s sermons because your brain is growing accustomed to short bursts of information due to an ever-growing immersion in social media.
I liked a few things about this book:
- It’s short. As the tagline of this book states, this is a mercifully short book at 118 pages. A busy person could read it in a couple of days.
- DeYoung talks about the role of necessity and proximity in establishing what we should be doing (page 51). The Terror of Obligation is a great chapter in which he states, “Not giving a rip about sex slaves is not an option for the Christian. Not doing something directly to combat this particular evil is an option.” He isn’t saying you shouldn’t do something about sex slaves, but rather, start where you already are. I often suffer from guilt for not doing everything in the world. This chapter, especially, was humbling and helpful for me.
- He doesn’t offer a neat and tidy solution. His “solutions” are most likely things you already know (and he doesn’t call them solutions–in fact, he shies away from that label). The helpful part is that he brings busyness to the surface in all of its forms, and forces the reader to be aware of them. And I think awareness is crucial.
This is a book I plan to keep nearby and read portions of when I start to feel overwhelmed with life; not necessarily the busy part, but the part that messes with my sanity and makes me wonder what my priorities really are. I gave it four stars on goodreads.com!
Do you consider yourself to be afflicted with busyness? Do you feel overwhelmed with obligations? Does saying “no” scare you? Will you read this book?
P.S. I updated my Blogging Resources page under “links to love” in the menu above. I plan on adding more to it, and would love to hear suggestions from you!