This book is a confession. Kevin DeYoung is a very busy man, and he isn't afraid to tell us just how busy—which happens to be very busy, even by our 21st century standards. But he isn't boasting, and he's careful to let us know that, too. Being Crazy Busy isn't just a not-so-great idea, it reveals our sinful heart condition. It's also the great epidemic of our modern world.
As with DeYoung's other books, this one is theological and practical, with the practical elements rooted firmly in biblical doctrine. So why is busyness so bad? DeYoung points out three main reasons: it can ruin our joy, rob our hearts, and cover up the rot in our souls. In other words, busyness breaks us down and distorts our vision.
Chapters 3-9 offer seven diagnoses for those who struggle with busyness. The first one will hit almost any reader right between the eyes: "You are beset with many manifestations of pride." A lot of our busyness is directly attributable to the fact that we often fill our schedules with things designed to puff our ego, like helping at church so people will think we're pious or doing a lot so people will think we're awesome.
Some of the diagnoses may be more surprising, like "You need to stop freaking out about your kids," or "You'd better rest yourself before you wreck yourself." Your kids will likely turn out just fine without having their schedules (and yours) crammed full, and sleep is a necessary part of life that you ignore or minimize to your ultimate danger.
This is a very funny book, and (as the subtitle states) mercifully short. But it's also very important, especially in our busyness crazed world. DeYoung observes his own problem and ours from the lens of Scripture, and offers insights and suggestions of his own along the way, all from the perspective of a veteran of the busyness wars.
What's the ultimate answer to all this? Is it to move off-grid, throw away your computer and iPhone, and simply get lazy? Not at all, at least from DeYoung's perspective. Laziness isn't an option, technology is here to stay and offers blessings as well as dangers and pitfalls, and how can we serve our neighbors if we don't have any?
The answer is to look to Jesus. The answer is always to look to Jesus, but DeYoung does an excellent job showing just how to do that in connection with our over-busy schedules. If your schedule is too full and you're too busy (and honestly, which of us isn't in this 21st century of ours?), Crazy Busy should be at the top of your reading list.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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