October 8, 2013 | by: 0 Comments|
I am talking to you. Yes, you. Not your spouse. Not your co-worker. Not that guy in your Community Group. I am talking to you!
Now that we have that squared away, I want to introduce you to Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung.
I know that you need to learn from this book because I talk with you weekly. I hear your stories, and I feel your pain. Between your work, your commute downtown and back, your kids school, extracurricular activities, and your church commitments (which I appreciate), there is no time for leisure, fellowship with God, or any kind of self-care. All of that, and we haven't even discussed God's mission and our role in it. What are you to do?
I am right there with you! While I generally do my best to avoid popular books by popular authors, this one caught my attention because I know that I need help. I am no longer able to answer the question, "How are you doing?" without referring to the rapid pace and busyness of my life. Something has to give. So, I decided to see what Kevin DeYoung has to say. The book isn't perfect. It could be critiqued in some places. Overall, I have been highly served by reading and reflecting on Crazy Busy.
I know how busy you are. So, let me quickly convince you to join me in reading Crazy Busy...
1. It will make you think critically about your own life. One curse of our busyness is the lack of time to evaluate what we do and why. The author is self-reflective, honest, biblical, and leads his readers down introspective paths. You need to travel these paths.
2. It deals with the real issues that real people face. Pride, people-pleasing, making idols of our children, making idols of technology and gadgets, not making priorities, etc. This is no ivory tower critique of the less enlightened. It is a street-level critique from a fellow struggler looking for answers. Your issues are in there, and they are addressed.
3. It gets the biblical truth correct. There is no single list of practical steps to eradicate our busyness. The reality is we need more Jesus. We need Jesus to more deeply change our desires and longings. We need Jesus to rescue us from ourselves. The book gets this point correct.
Consider this quote, "It is not wrong to be tired. It's not wrong to feel overwhelmed. It's not wrong to go through seasons of complete chaos. What is wrong - and heartbreakingly foolish and wonderfully avoidable - is to live with more craziness than we want because we have less Jesus than we need" (p. 118).
Consider this one as well because it actually may be better, "I believe God wants us to see that if we heal the sick and cast out demons and preach the gospel and show mercy and do justice and don't sit at the feet of Jesus, we've missed the one thing we truly need. The only thing more important than ministry is being ministered to" (p. 117).
4. The chapter on children and parenting is worth the price of the book. The chapter is entitled, "A Cruel Kindergarchy - You Need to Stop Freaking Out about Your Kids." Parenting is complicated, stressful, and fear-enducing. Most of us are so afraid of that "one crucial mistake" that we are paralyzed by fear and overwhelmed attempting to provide "every" opportunity to our kids. This chapter speaks candidly, helpfully, and directly to us. We need to listen.
Consider this quote, "Parenting has become more complicated than it needs to be. It used to be, as far as I can tell, that Christian parents basically tried to feed their kids, clothe them, teach them about Jesus, and keep them away from explosives. Now our kids have to sleep on their backs while listening to Baby Mozart and surrounded by scenes from Starry, Starry Night. They have to be in piano lessons before they are five and can't leave the car seat until they're about five foot six" (p. 67).
Later arriving at this conclusion, "I want to focus on doing a few things really well, and not get too worked up about everything else. I want to spend time with my kids, teach them the Bible, take them to church, laugh with them, cry with them, discipline them when they disobey, say 'sorry' when I mess up, and pray a ton" (p. 74).
5. It is engaging, funny, and short. Everyone is too busy for a boring tome, right? This book grabs your attention and keeps it for all 118 pages.
Consider this quote. "There are ways to screw up our kids for life, but thankfully the Happy Meal is not one of them. There is not a straight line from Ronald McDonald to eternal rebellion. Much like there is not a direct correlation between doodling loudly in the service as a toddler and doing meth as a teenager" (p. 73-74).
Clearly, this book is more entertaining than my sermons. You should read it, or I might preach about it.
I want you to check out this book because I think it will be good for you and for Redeemer. I want you thinking about this topic and talking about it among others in our church. So, I am giving away 5 copies of Crazy Busy. The first 5 people to respond and include a reason why you desire to read the book will receive a copy. You can respond via email, post to Facebook, reply on Twitter, or comment on the blog.
Update: The free books are gone. Thanks for the great response. You can purchase a copy here.
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