Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung: A Book Review

“That’s the way God made us - finite and fragile. He made us to spend almost a third of our lives not doing anything except depending on him. Going to sleep is our way of saying, ‘I trust you, God. You’ll be okay without me.’”

By Lana Douglas

It’s not that busyness in and of itself is a sin; there are many seasons of life where busyness is exactly what God has called us to. But after analyzing my own life, I’d venture to say that the majority of our busyness is self-imposed.

For those of you that are already starting to skim through the words on this page because you have a zillion other things to do, let me get to the bottom line. You are not too busy for this book. If you read one chapter per day, 10 days from now you would know what I know. If you stop reading here, I would want you to know one thing - God doesn’t ask us to run frantically to and fro to hold the seams of the universe together. That position has already been filled.


(My sleep habits in Dec. ‘15, compared to March ‘16.  The horizontal line represents 8 hours of sleep.)

The greatest indicator that I had a “busyness” problem was sleep, or lack thereof. One look at my sleep tracker would tell you that my sleep pattern is non-existent. I sleep when I have to, going to bed at the latest possible moment and tearing myself from bed far too soon. The problem of sleep was more than just a lack of routine, at its heart, it was a trust problem.

“Going to sleep is our way of saying, ‘I trust you, God. You’ll be okay without me.’” How true those words rung for me. I can’t remember the last time I went to sleep without making a mental checklist of all the things I would get done when I woke. How often had I sacrificed hours of sleep to finish one more work project or to make sure my apartment was spick and span? And after months of this habit I’d say I was even more stressed, behind, and sleep deprived to boot.  

Do I trust God to give me the ability to complete all the have to’s in my day? Do I trust God to help me let go of the things that I don’t need to get done? Do I trust God to help me say “No” to commitments that I want to do, but shouldn’t? Do I trust God to bring along another person to fulfill that commitment? Am I trusting God to hold my world together while I sleep?  

It was a convicting statement. I was so wrapped up on getting things done by my power and it was running out. If I’m faithful throughout the day to use my time wisely, only take on extra commitments that are within my calling, then I should be able to go to sleep on time; trusting that God will keep the world spinning while he gives me rest.

The other component involves taking a long hard look at all the responsibilities on your plate. My family has always been “yes” people. Need help setting up for a luncheon? We can help with that. Worship team? Choir? Teach a Sunday School class? Small Group? Service project? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. The problem is God has not given us an infinite amount of time.  

One of the toughest things to admit is that we will not be able to accomplish everything we’d like to on this earth. I cannot do everything. No matter how much I’d like to think I can if I only worked a little harder, squeezed a few more hours out of the day, it will never be enough time to finish everything.

How do we stop our habit of overcommitment? Isn’t it good to volunteer and be involved in church, school, work, etc…? It is, but we need to make sure we are doing the work that God has given us to do; not any more than that.

“Jesus Didn’t meet every need. He left people waiting in line to be healed. He left one town to preach to another.  He hid away to pray. He got tired...He did not try to do it all. And yet, he did everything God asked him to do.” (pg. 50)

If even the son of God has limits, how can I live my life as if I don’t? It’s time to take a hard look at your responsibilities and commitments. What are the things that God has called you to do? What things has he called you to leave for someone else to take up? This doesn’t mean that you should step away from all responsibilities because this book told you too. It does mean that you need to be intentional about where you spend your time and energy. It means we recognize the truth that there are only 24 hours in the day, and there may not be time for small group Bible study, choir, and helping at Awana. There may not be time for your kids to play baseball, to put on a picnic for your neighborhood, and swimming lessons.  You may need to make some hard eliminations to your schedule to be sure you are attending to that which God has given you to do.

At the end, it’s important to remember that busyness is not a sin. Even cutting down your obligations and making a routine to stick to, there will still be times when life gets busy. And that’s okay. Busyness will happen, but we need to rid ourselves of the self-inflicted busyness during the seasons that God has called us to trust him and be faithful with only the things we are called to do.

“It’s 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 a life with more craziness than we want because we have less Jesus than we need.”

Lana Douglas has a bachelors degree in communications and has been attending Bethany for two years. Other than reading and writing articles for By The Way, she enjoys warm weather, adventures, and really, really good coffee. 


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