Like most people I'm pretty busy. But after a hard crash in 2011 I was forced to make a lot of adjustments: letting go of some responsibilities, creating a healthy schedule with proper margin and boundaries, etc. So when I heard of Kevin DeYoung's new book, Crazy Busy! I was interested. I read it today (small book) and really like it. I encourage you to pick it up when it is available on Sept. 23.
Like I said this a small book, and it doesn't dive deep into soul work, but it is a helpful book that will assist the reader in seeing the dangers of busyness, many of the signs of busyness, and the "one thing" we all need to be about.
Well before I opened Crazy Busy! I read Eric Landry's review over at Out of the Horse's Mouth. While he gave it some praise he seemed to take issue with the need to identify busyness as a problem. He wrote, "No one I know is blind to our busyness. We don’t need to be convinced that we are too busy. We know that our choices are robbing us of our health and spiritual vitality." But I think Eric is missing something here. We all may know we are too busy, but we don't always know how we are too busy or why it is dangerous. DeYoung helps us with that.
Eric also takes issue with Kevin's final chapter, "The One Thing you Must Do." He interpreted the chapter as calling for more devotional exercises and an overly-privatized kind of Christianity. He wrote,
So, what’s the one thing we must do? Personal daily devotions. ...My concern [is] the easy retreat to individualism, which is at the heart of our crazy busy problem and also shows up in a surprising way in Crazy Busy. For instance, in chapter 8, DeYoung explains the benefit of a Sabbath rest without once talking about the means of grace. His primary emphasis is personal relaxation, sleep, and a day off from the grind. But that individualistic viewpoint actually serves to fuel our hyper-active lives, when the Sabbath was meant to remind us that we don’t exist for ourselves, at all!
- Review of Crazy Busy!
I agree that DeYoung could have said more on the means of grace, and wished he would have spent time on the believer's life as a part of the church. But he does in fact make the point that we do not exist for ourselves. While he is dealing with individuals, I never got the impression that this is a push toward individualism.
And his "one thing" in chapter 8 isn't personal daily devotions, but communion with Christ. DeYoung writes, "We must make learning from [Jesus] and taking time to be with him a priority. The priority, in fact." He says that "sitting at the feet of Jesus" is the "one thing" that is necessary. That's communion with Christ, not mere devotional habits. Yes, he pushes time spent daily in prayer and Bible reading (hey look, means of grace) , but his call is for more of Christ, not merely more habits.
Crazy Busy! is a good book. It doesn't say everything, but what it says is solid. For the busy, stressed out, believer who needs a redirect this is a good place to start.