BOOK REVIEW – Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem

Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big ProblemCrazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very short book and a quick read, but don’t be deceived. Your toes will be stepped on! I think DeYoung does a great job of blending scientific research, biblical principles, and anecdotes to make his case.

I think we are all too busy for our own good. But I appreciate (and am attacked by) the fact that he points out: maybe it’s not that we’re too busy, maybe we’re just busy with the wrong things. In today’s world it’s so easy to waste away our time on social media, YouTube, or Netflix and feel like we’ve actually accomplished something. We waste time at work scrolling through our Twitter feed and then we spend time at home catching up on work emails.

No matter what your walk of life – whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a CEO, a pastor, or a plumber – this book is bound to punch you in the gut but also offer hope. DeYoung addresses common culprits in our busyness – pride, expectations, priorities & boundaries, parenting, screen time, lack of rest & time off, and entitlement.

It all boils down to this. We were created to do work, to share in God’s creative process. We were also given the need to rest, relax, and recover. There are times we need to work, like Martha (Luke 10), and there are times we need to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus, like Mary. Our devotion to Christ should be our highest calling. Time is the one resource we all have in equal supply, so let’s focus on the things that matter most by embracing God’s rhythm for our lives.

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SABBATH | 40 Days of Focus, Day 11


“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
(Exodus 20:8-11)

Sometimes I think we forget just how revolutionary the Bible is/was. Remember that this was a nation of former slaves. How many holidays do slaves get? Zero. How many days off in a week did they get? Zero. To live was to work.

For God to take this nation of former slaves and then REQUIRE one day of complete rest from work EACH WEEK was truly foundational in granting them a new identity. They aren’t slaves anymore, and to prove it, God says stop working.

The whole notion of Sabbath is closely tied to God’s own rest after his creative work in Genesis.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
(Genesis 2:2-3)

Only recently have a significant number of people around the globe been able to enjoy one or two days off during the week. Some countries and companies are even testing out a four-day work-week model, and it seems to be going well. I think, it turns out, that humans weren’t designed to work nonstop, seven days a week. People need rest. People need a break. God knew this from the beginning, and so he prioritized it for his new nation.

Sabbath is a GOOD thing. The benefits of rest and relaxation are attested to time and time again for increasing productivity and creativity. We are more efficient and effective when we are well rested and not overly burdened.

So why was Jesus always fighting against the Sabbath?

Seven different times in the gospels we find Jesus performing miracles (mostly healings) on the Sabbath. This upset the religious leaders to no end. In fact, this is one of the main reasons they wanted to kill him. I think this one verse reveals a lot about their hearts.

Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
(Luke 13:14)

Jesus wasn’t against Sabbath as a practice and an idea. In fact, he was very much in favor of finding times of rest and disconnecting from the high-speed demands of life. Over and again we see him slipping away from the crowds to be alone with God. His problem with Sabbath was that the religious leaders were making it more of a burden than a release of burdens. Sabbath was made to be enjoyed, but they were sucking all the joy out of it with their rules.

It’s like taking your kids to the playground and threatening them to have fun or else they’re going to be punished. Or like, this is completely true, the sign I saw at one playground listing a bunch of rules, one of which was “No Running.” Srsly???

Simply put, Jesus didn’t play those games.

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
(Mark 2:27-28)

We weren’t made to follow an extreme no-work regime, either. Man was not created solely to follow the Sabbath laws. Rather, God created the Sabbath to be a relief to us. The problem came from all the rules and restrictions around the Sabbath, making it more of a burden.

When rest is burdensome, we’ve gotten pretty far offtrack.

Our rest is not found in observing a bunch of rules, regulations, and guidelines. Rest is found in following Jesus.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30)

Sabbath can come whenever, wherever while following Jesus. Or as Augustine said:

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”


Is the practice of Sabbath important in your life? How do you make rest and time with God a priority in your life?

Why do you think our churches don’t teach and encourage Sabbath that much?

Jesus said the Sabbath was intended to bring life and healing. What steps can you take this week to find times of rest that bring life and healing and joy?

REST | 40 Days of Focus, Day 7


Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
(Genesis 2:1-3)

When was the last time you rested? Like, really rested?

I’m sure we’ve all seen the statistics and research about how Americans are among the most overworked people in the world. Americans on average work longer hours per week than their European counterparts, and they receive fewer paid holidays. We have no guaranteed maternity leave, while other countries insist on granting mothers and fathers paid family leave while their children are young.

We go on fewer vacations, take fewer sick and personal days, and we work more overtime than we should. We buy into the lie that busyness equals productivity. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’m seeing more and more studies that show the importance of rest, time off, and brain-breaks throughout the day. Something as simple as a 10-15 minute break to walk around the office or around the block can actually help spur creativity and productivity. If we don’t take breaks and if we don’t find time to rest and disconnect, then we are in danger of burnout.

I saw this video the other week on one of the YouTube channels I follow. It speaks to this very idea, but not in a Christian or religious way – so mind some of the language. But his points are spot on.

I think God knew that we needed rest. He created us, after all. I think he would be a pretty good judge of what we need. But here’s the thing about God – he never calls us to do something he is unwilling to do himself. God calls us to rest (as we’ll see in the 10 Commandments), so God sets the precedent by resting.

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how good breaks and rest can be for our minds. I’m terrible about this, but when was the last time you did chores without listening to music or a podcast? When was the last time you exercised without your earbuds in? When was the last time you drove somewhere in silence? When was the last time you just let your mind wander freely? For me it’s almost never.

But I want to get better about it.

We are creative beings. Part of what it means to be made in the image of God is that we carry on his creative work. We can add value and beauty to the world around us unlike any other creature. We care about art and design and color and architecture and texture and lighting and ambience and aesthetic. God does, too. We get to participate in his creativity, but not to the point of losing ourselves in the work.

God rested. Rest does not equal laziness just like busyness does not equal productivity. We think people are either busy or they’re lazy. But so often we end up staying busy with things that don’t matter – and that can be as bad or worse than laziness.

God rested, and it was a holy, intentional rest. The seventh day was set aside, it was different than the other days. Again, we’ll talk more about Sabbath specifically in a few days. But God knows the importance of holy moments, holy spaces, holy days and times. We were not created to go 100% seven days a week. We were created to live in a rhythm of life – evening, morning, work, rest, worship, create, feast, celebrate, get busy, relax.

Don’t buy into the lie that you have to work harder than God. There’s a time for work and a time to rest.

Do you think God is still working and creating today? Or did he completely stop after Day Seven?

Have you ever felt burnt out? What was that like? What led to that experience? What did you learn from it?

Why do you think society places such an emphasis on being and staying busy? In what ways might that busyness be hurting our physical health? our families? our churches?

Look at your daily schedule. Mark out some times to rest, to take breaks, to enjoy nature, and to disconnect from social media and the demands of your electronic devices.