Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung. Crossway. 128 pages. 2013
More often than not, when you ask someone how they are doing these days, they will respond how busy they are. Most of us probably feel the same, but are we doing anything about it, or do we just accept that this is the way life is today? Pastor and author Kevin DeYoung tells us that when it comes down to it, we are all busy in the same sorts of ways. We are all very busy, but not with what matters most. He tells us that busyness is as much a mind-set and a heart sickness as it is a failure in time management. His hope is that you will find this short book highly practical and accessibly theological.
The book is arranged as follows:
- Three Dangers to Avoid
- Seven Diagnosis to Consider
- One Thing You Must Do
The author’s hope is that you’ll find a few ways to tackle your schedule, several suggestions for reclaiming your sanity, and a lot of encouragement to remember your soul. He tells us that we are so busy with a million pursuits that we don’t even notice the most important things slipping away. He tells us that when our lives are frantic and frenzied, we are more prone to anxiety, resentment, impatience, and irritability.
Busyness does not mean you are a faithful or fruitful Christian. It only means you are busy, just like everyone else. But we should not only not ignore the physical danger of busyness, we need to remember the most serious threats are spiritual. DeYoung tells us that when we are crazy busy, we put our souls at risk.
He tells us that the challenge is not merely to make a few bad habits go away. The challenge is to not let our spiritual lives slip away. The dangers are serious, and they are growing. And few of us are as safe as we may think. He tells us that our understanding of busyness must start with the one sin that begets so many of our other sins: pride.
He addresses a number of topics regarding busyness in this short book including pride, pleasing people, controlling others, doing things we haven’t been called to do, family, our time online, rest and spending time with Jesus.
Below are 10 of my favorite quotes from the book:
- Stewarding my time is not about selfishly pursuing only the things I like to do. It’s about effectively serving others in the ways I’m best able to serve and in the ways I am most uniquely called to serve.
- Many of us are simply overcome—hour after hour, day after day—by the urge to connect online.
- Most of us would find new freedom if we didn’t check our phones as the last and first thing we do every day.
- If my goal is God-glorifying productivity over a lifetime of hard work, there are few things I need more than a regular rhythm of rest.
- Pursuing a pattern of work and rest means more than an annual retreat or a weekly Sabbath. It means quite practically a daily fight to get more sleep.
- The antidote to busyness of soul is not sloth and indifference. The antidote is rest, rhythm, death to pride, acceptance of our own finitude, and trust in the providence of God.
- We have to believe that the most significant opportunity before us every day is the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus. We won’t rearrange our priorities unless we really believe this is the best one.
- Making consistent time for the Word of God and prayer is the place to start because being with Jesus is the only thing strong enough to pull us away from busyness.
- We won’t say no to more craziness until we can say yes to more Jesus.
- It’s not wrong to be tired. It’s not wrong to feel overwhelmed. It’s not wrong to go through seasons of complete chaos. What is wrong—and heartbreakingly foolish and wonderfully avoidable—is to live a life with more craziness than we want because we have less Jesus than we need.