Crazy Busy

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

No doubt we all like to think of ourselves, at least from time-to-time, as being in control of our lives.

But the reality is we’re probably wasting a lot, if not most, of our time ignoring the most important person in all of existence: God.

We’re too easily distracted by the “cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches” (Mark 4:19, ESV).

We find ourselves incredibly busy with countless unimportant and irrelevant activities.

Even if we do feel like we’re on-top-of-things, we’re neither productive nor effective.

However, for some it’s a never ending spiral into despair and frustration as the many responsibilities and mind-numbing amusements of this age weigh them down.

Full of personal insights yet supported by gospel truths, Kevin has an easy-to-read style that makes it a comfortable and enjoyable study on what can be an awkward and challenging topic: time management.

This book helped me to recognize my own shortcomings and reorganize all my priorities.

In fact, it reminded me of those two great commandments:

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)

It has lots of sound advice and biblical content but is neither “preachy” nor patronizing.

I recommend this book to anyone who finds themselves crazy busy.

Do you feel snowed under? Are you battling a never ending list of things-to-do? Do you seem to have an ever-growing Inbox? Are you distant from God?

Then do yourself a favour and take some time-out from your hectic schedule to put it all in perspective and get back-to-basics.

Kim+

life together

Whilst living alone here in Japan the past month or so I’ve been fortunate as I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate topics like loneliness.

Not that I’m mired in self-pity for the circumstances of my situation. Yet I do keenly miss the company of my friends and family.

So it’s interesting that the book I’m currently reading is called “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

In only a few pages I’m immediately impressed by his perceptive insights.

I think we find it all too easy to see our Christian lives as insulated existences. Private. Personal.

But Bonhoeffer reminds us that Jesus himself “lived in the midst of his enemies” and was ultimately “deserted” by those closest to him.

As Psalm 22 foretold, “on the cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers.”

In the same way, “the Kingdom is to be in the midst of [our] enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people.”

This theme of life together is one I look forward to examining more deeply in the coming days and weeks.

Kim+

When the Darkness Will Not Lift

I’m currently reading a short book by John Piper.

It’s a book that is particularly helpful to Christians suffering from sadness, anxiety and depression.

Not that I am personally in this situation. But it’s a useful tool to help those who are.

We know that joy is a “fruit of the spirit”. One of many.

It’s part-and-parcel of our justification although, like fruit, it grows with our sanctification.

But, for many people, their life can feel devoid of joy.

They sink to the bottom of a big, black whole of unhappiness that they’re powerless to dig themselves out of.

We need to understand that despite being forgiven, we’re still sinners. We remain imperfect.

Yet Piper says that we should “fight for joy like a justified sinner” 1

This joy is a gift from God. It’s ours for the taking.

And any guilt we feel must be mitigated by the knowledge that God’s “grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

For Christ’s “power is made perfect in [our] weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When we stumble, when we fall, Christ will grab a hold of our outstretched hand and haul us out of the mire (Psalms 69:14).

To then place us on solid ground.

Full of “gutsy guilt”.

Gutsy guilt means learning to live on the rock-solid truth of what happened for us when Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from the dead.” 2

Therefore, no matter what our circumstances, “rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).

Piper’s words, and those of God, are an immense encouragement when we find ourselves in the darkness of despair.

Piper’s exhortation is to ultimately rely upon God’s “firm foundation” (2 Timothy 2:19). Despite our emotions and ever changing moods.

For God does not change. He is the same “yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Kim+

1. Piper, John. “When the Darkness Will Not Lift.” Crossway Books, 2009.04.03. iBooks.

2. ibid: Piper, John (emphasis added)