I just finished Kevin DeYoung‘s book, Crazy Busy. It’s pretty short, so even those of you who don’t enjoy reading can make it through this 118 page book. Chapter One doesn’t even start until page 11, so you technically get a few thrown in for free. The subtitle of the book is, “A (mercifully) short book about a (really) big problem.” With homeschooling a 9-year-old, an almost 4-month-old, a (rented) house, 11th-grade writing students, and a few pets on my plate, I’ve got more than enough to keep me busy. Let’s also not forget my friends, marriage, and relationship with God. Tyler brought this book home from the Uptown Men’s Retreat this year, so I picked it up one day and before I knew it, I was 1/3 of the way through the book. It’s thankfully an easy read.
DeYoung ain’t no joke. He willingly admits he’s just as much to blame as anyone else for cramming too many activities, even encouraging and uplifting ones, into his day. He challenges readers to prioritize what they do, especially relating to screen-time (guilty!), and not be afraid to say “No.” I like how he suggests we’re too busy in a negative way because we’re either addicted to our technology, never say no when people ask us to do something, or allow ourselves to be ruled by all the things we “should be” doing, including the kindergarchy typical of American parents. But he also counters being too busy with our call as humans to work. He suggests we should be busy, tired, and hard-working because we are pursuing our calling to work with diligence.
There is definitely a balance of being busy, but not crazy busy, one he suggests starts with our relationship with Jesus. He says we must do this one thing, but not in a legalistic kind of way. He says, “few things demonstrate our devotion to Christ more than making time with him a priority each day” (114). He suggests positive discipline of the self to read the bible and pray, “and that’s not even taking into account the spiritual benefits. By spending time with the Lord in the Word and prayer, we are likely to gain new perspective on our hassles and headaches” (116).
The most challenging part for me? Not being ruled by my job as a wife, teacher, and mother. I should also put my technology down more often and really engage with whatever other thing I claim to be multitasking with. If your life is busy, and whose isn’t, you should read this book. Even if you’re not a Christian, this book is challenging and offers wisdom about making positive decisions for relationships, work, and life.