As a self-confessed 'driven' person with a demanding job, a speaking and writing schedule, and five young children, Kevin DeYoung seems well qualified to write a book on being 'Crazy Busy'. But what makes this book special is the way he brings biblical principles to bear on the daily realities of life. That makes it so much more than just another book on time management or goal setting.
DeYoung starts by giving three reasons why being crazy busy is not good: it can ruin our joy, it can rob our hearts, and it can cover up the rot in our souls.
Then he gives us seven diagnoses to consider, each with its own short chapter. For example, he helps us think about pride, and how our busyness can be driven more by a desire to LOOK good than a desire to DO good. He helps us think about the technological revolution, and about the blessings and pitfalls of constant connectivity and social media. He helps us think about the value of a rhythm of work and rest. However, he also says that work is a good thing. And helping needy people is both time-consuming and unpredicatable. Jesus was a very busy man - but he was busy doing the right things for the right reasons.
The final chapter of the book presents "one thing that you must do" and, again, is very helpful and challenging.
DeYoung writes all this from the viewpoint of a fellow-struggler on the road to recovery, seeking to share what he has learned and (sometimes) managed to put into practice. He admits that the book's analysis is largely geared to a Western mindset. But he shrewdly points out that, as globalisation spreads, the issue of 'Crazy Busy' will surely only spread as well.
For those who live in an age of unprecedented complexity and unprecedented opportunity, this is a wonderful, short, Christian book to help us live lives that are fruitful, not just 'crazy busy'.
Crazy busy is how I define myself way too often these days. People ask how I am and I don't say 'fine', I say 'crazy busy'. I wish I didn't because I tend to see it as a bad thing, the sign of a disordered life. DeYoung, it seems, suffers from the same malady. His writing is helpful and well-considered, as well as conveniently short enough for even the crazy busy to read from cover to cover.
I particularly appreciated the final chapter. Here, having written challengingly about all of the things which can make us wrongly busy, DeYoung reminds us that for those who are faithful in gospel ministry busyness is to be expected because loving people is costly on terms of time and care. In a Western context where busyness is sometimes demonised by Christians (including me), this message is deeply-needed. Busyness is ok - even to be expected - in the pursuit of obedience to God's call. What matters is doing only what he leads us to instead of all the other good - and not so good - which fights for our attention.
I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.
This short but practical book strikes at the heart of busy peoples lives and opens up to us the reason we struggle with business. His simple gospel focussed answers strike home to me and will challenge me on my view of my busy life. Highly reccomended!