Five or six years ago, I emailed Kevin DeYoung to see if he would be willing to speak at our conference the following October, which was then about 18 months away. I had just read Why We're Not Emergent, and though the book was doing well, Kevin hadn't really hit the conference circuit yet.
Kevin responded personally and was enthusiastic about the idea. He seemed surprised that we were planning things that far in advance. He encouraged me to contact him again when we had more details.
About six months later, I contacted him again. Unfortunately, during these six months the demands on his schedule had greatly increased. This time, I did not get a personal response. I got a response from his secretary, who informed me that his schedule would not allow him to participate.
I've often kicked myself for not staying on top of the email communication with Kevin. But I understood and assumed that he was probably way busier than he would like to be.
My suspicions about Kevin's ministry being quite busy seem to be true. He's just published an excellent book entitled Crazy Busy. I highly recommend it to those who are struggling with the demands of a hectic life (i.e., everyone). His advice is sound, biblical, and cuts to the root issues in the hearts of those who struggle with being "too busy."
There are lots great insights in the book, but let me just give one sample from a chapter entitled, "A Cruel Kindergarchy." In the chapter, DeYoung suggests that one reason we're too busy is because of our child-centered lifestyles. We're "freaking out" about our kids, assuming that if we don't create an idyllic environment for them, they'll flounder in life.
After discussing some data illustrating how our parenting doesn't always affect our children in the way we think it will, DeYoung concludes:
How we parent matters less than we think when it comes to the sort of person our kids will become in twenty years but it still matters a great deal in determining what our kids' present experience will be and how they will remember their childhood twenty years from now. We may not be able to shape our child's future identity as much as we'd like, but we can profoundly shape their experience of childhood in the present.
That's why one of the best things we can do for our kids is to find a way to stop being so frantic and frazzled.There's lots of good stuff in here. Pride, misplaced priorities, the lure of modern technology, and the refusal to rest are all topics that are covered well by DeYoung as he considers how "crazy busy" we are.
Oh, and I almost forgot the best part: the book is really short. I read it during my daughter's gymnastic's class while occasionally answering email while my wife was taking our boys to a parade and our other daughter to her cross country meet.