Do you ever feel overwhelmed with busyness and out of time for other things you want to do? Is your spouse suggesting, even pressuring you to slow down or spend more time with the family? Do you ever consider giving up your job and heading back home from the mission field because of it? Maybe, just maybe, it’s not your work or team environment that puts on the pressure. Maybe the busyness of your life is being created by YOU!
Recently I was directed to a book by Kevin DeYoung called, Crazy Busy. This came on Gary Collin’s blog, People Building. Gary has his Ph.D in Psychology, has practiced counseling for many years, and has written a host of books. His full bio can be found on this website.
He wrote an excellent, helpful review of the book that I’d like to pass on to you because Kevin highlights several critical areas that pressure missionaries and pastors as well. Being aware of these areas might just save your marriage and keep you in the saddle of your work. The message is KNOW YOURSELF and SLOW DOWN!
Here’s Gary’s review of Crazy Busy.
I ordered and read Kevin DeYoung’s new book Crazy Busy as soon as it became available. My initial skepticism faded when I found the book to be very much on target, pinpointing the causes and impact of busy lifestyles. The author connects with clear writing, captivating stories, personal experiences, and evidence that he has read widely in the works of other experts on busyness.
Here are a few of the busyness-producing forces that DeYoung identifies.
Inner attitudes, most of which reflect pride. We want to be liked, accepted or affirmed so we say “yes” to requests when we should say “no.” We push ourselves in order to prove ourselves. We talk about our busyness with the prestige-building subtle message that overly busy people must be important and needed.
The pressure of possibilities. We encounter opportunities that we don’t want to miss or needs that we feel guilty bypassing. So we take on too much and try to do more than is possible without considering what God wants us to do. Even Jesus didn’t try to meet everybody’s needs.
Lack of priorities and boundaries. We can’t control busyness unless we have clear priorities and a determination to stick with them. Well-intentioned church leaders, mentors, parents and even close friends are among those who pull us off mission and convince us to do more.
Kindergarchy – being ruled by our kids. Of course children have time and energy demanding needs, but parents live under the myth that every opportunity needs to be provided for their kids to be successful and well-rounded. So parents rush their kids from event to event, wear themselves out and teach their children to be crazy busy in turn.
Screen strangulation. The book argues that most of us are controlled by our screens so we spend hours checking messages, surfing the web, or watching mindless television. Then we wonder why everything else in life squeezes our schedules. DeYoung boldly identifies this as time-consuming addiction.
Lack of rest. We take pride in running all the time and seem to believe that sleep and time off do not matter. But even God rested.
Building on the story of Mary and Martha, the book calls readers to take time every day to get alone with God and reset our priorities.
Sounds like a worthwhile read, or at least meditating on the issues above to determine which factors affect me the most.