Kevin DeYoung. Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013. 128 pp.
Are you ever crazy busy? Busyness is something we are all familiar with. There is so much to do with so little time. We get things done and sometimes things get neglected. We heap into our life “things” that are supposed to make it easier but everything is just so busy!
This brings us to Kevin DeYoung’s recent book “Crazy Busy”. I had heard about this book a while ago but had not found time to read it (a reason I needed to read this book). A friend gave it to my wife so I quickly had a read (Di, you can have it back now).
I really like Kevin DeYoung. He writes with clarity making it an easy and enjoyable book to read. As I read through this book I really appreciated his wit and humour. Kevin is a funny guy. On a more serious note, this book clearly is grounded in scriptural principles and is written by a man who unmistakably loves Christ and is very pastoral.
After a great introduction (chapter 1), in chapter 2 DeYoung provides the reader with three dangers to avoid concerning busyness: (1) Busyness can ruin our joy, (2) Busyness can rob our hearts, and (3) Busyness can cover up the rot in our souls (pp. 30-32).
The bulk of the book (chapters 3-9) offers seven diagnoses for consideration. In this section DeYoung shows how pride can be the cause and maintainer of a lot of our busyness (ch. 3). In chapter 4 he wisely speaks about the importance of knowing our limits while also encouraging those who are lazy to get busy. Chapter 5 looks at the importance of setting priorities that will help prevent us from getting busy doing others things. Chapter 6 he encourages parents to stop freaking out about their kids. He carefully identifies how our modern family routine fills our families with stressful busyness. In chapter 7, DeYoung recognizes the place and influence of modern technology, but provides a helpful balance in not letting it control us. Chapter 8 deals with the importance of rest so as to help with productivity. The final diagnosis (chapter 9) is summarised by how he opens the chapter, “the reason we are busy is because we are supposed to be busy” (p. 101). This chapter helps the reader to have the right expectations and entrust themselves to the Lord.
The book concludes with Keven being honest in saying that he hasn’t worked it all out yet. He exhorts the reader with a one-point plan designed to help bring us closer to Jesus. For those who may be a little frustrated with Kevin’s ending, and desire to see how these points of wisdom work out, be sure to read Kevin’s blog post “Am I still Crazy Busy?” which I found very helpful.
Whether you are a pastor, employer, employee, parent, or student, you are not immune to busyness. I believe if you find time to read this it will prove to be helpful.