Crazy Busy–A Review

Product Details

Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem, Kevin DeYoung (Crossway, 2013).

DeYoung writes as a fellow struggler who is seeking to bring his busyness under better control. He says, “I hope you’ll find a few ways to tackle your schedule, several suggestions for reclaiming your sanity, and a lot of encouragement to remember your soul.”

He identifies three dangers to avoid.

  1. Busyness can ruin our joy.
  2. Busyness can rob our hearts.
  3. Busyness can cover up the rot in our souls.

He discusses seven diagnoses to consider.

  1. You are beset with many manifestations of pride.
  2. You are trying to do what God does not expect you to do.
  3. You can’t serve others without setting priorities.
  4. You need to stop freaking out about your kids.
  5. You are letting the screen strangle your soul.
  6. You better rest yourself before you wreck yourself
  7. You suffer more because you don’t expect to suffer at all.

He concludes with one thing we must do to overcome crazy busyness.

Regularly make time for the Word of God and prayer. This will help us avoid living a life “with more craziness than we want because we have less Jesus than we need.”

 —   —   —

DeYoung openly shares his struggles with busyness and some ideas that have been helpful to him. Reading this 118-page book seems more like a face-to-face chat than an essay.

In response to the overcommitted and stressed-out he offers not time management tips but rather commonsense insights. The book is for those too busy to read it, those slaves to their digital devices, those guilty of over-programming their children, those who take no time to rest, and to those exhausted at trying to please and control others. Restoring order in one’s life requires perspective, priorities, and discipline.

I found Chapter 7 “From Deep to Deep” dealing with a digital addiction to be especially perceptive. While the digital age has many values, it also has some threats: addiction, diversion from spiritual focus, and a loss of privacy when millions can intrude into your life most any time. DeYoung gives some suggestions for making your digital devices your servant rather than your master.

Crazy Busy was chosen as the 2014 Christian Book of the Year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Read it. You’ll like it!

“Keep Yourselves from Idols”

People are incurably religious. When they exclude God from their lives, they will make a substitute god out of something. They find something within creation which they inflate so it functions as their god. It can be a person, an object, a property, an activity, an institution, an idea, an image, a hope, a pleasure, change, status, fitness, etc. Idols are not just in pagan temples. They control the hearts and lives of people today.

Three authors have recently warned us of the present danger of idolatry. Selections will be quoted from their works.

Timothy Keller, in Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters, defines an idol as “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. . . . Anything can serve as a counterfeit god, especially the very best things in life”

“God was saying that the human heart takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives, because, we think, they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment, if we attain them.”

“A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving ‘face’ and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry. . . . An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, than I’ll feel significant and secure.’ There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.

Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters (New York: Dutton, 2009). Continue reading