David Griffin, one of the 6pm associates, reviews Kevin DeYoung's 'Crazy Busy: A (mercifully) short book, about a (really) big problem'.
Meet my imaginary friends Bertie and Bessie. They live and go to church in London and have full powered jobs with eye-watering hours. Every day they come home frazzled, and yet feeling guilty that they haven’t done the things that matters – quiet times got squeezed, and despite many church meetings they wished they had served their church family more.
For many of us, Bertie and Bessie don’t sound very imaginary at all – they sound a lot like us. If there was a phrase to describe all of us living in Zone 1 to 6 - I'd choose ‘crazy busy’, regularly feeling like we’re flirting with the danger zone.
That's why I've found Kevin DeYoung’s book: Crazy Busy- immensely helpful.
DeYoung has written this book to help us and himself by showing how the New Testament picture of following Jesus should apply to busyness. His aim is that we’ll be busy in a good way. Working hard is good, but often we are “doing a million pursuits that we don’t even notice the most important things slipping away”(p20).
With Bible in hand, DeYoung diagnoses why we keep doing the less important (though not unimportant) pursuits, why we miss doing the really important things and how we can think as followers of Jesus what is most important. He also gives some helpful warnings on how busyness can affect our souls.
Reading it I was struck by how an unchecked ‘busy as usual’ outlook can be so damaging spiritually. I’ve often heard how busyness can strangle devotion time, but I didn’t realise as much that being busy can cover up the rot in our souls. Perhaps it’s because we’ve deceived ourselves that being busy equals being godly – especially when Christian activity makes up part of our week.
DeYoung offers three dangers to avoid, seven diagnoses to consider and one thing we must do. The last chapter is worth the price of the book. If like me you borrowed it from someone, even better.
Make no mistake, this is no silver bullet, there’s no “ten steps to be a successful city lawyer with nine children while leading eight sports teams”. DeYoung is no naïve optimist, we can’t do everything. Instead he offers a mix of Bible teaching and practical implications that will help anyone who wants to be more godly in this area. I wholeheartedly recommend it.