Book Review - Out of Control by Ben Young and Dr. Samuel Adams
As of late, I've been feeling like perhaps I'm doing far too many things that don't matter at the expense of things that do. This is particularly true in the spiritual aspect of my life. The Nelson publishing group sent me a review copy of Out of Control: Finding Peace for the Physically Exhausted and Spiritually Strung Out by Ben Young and Dr. Samuel Adams. The timing could not have been better...
Section 1 - Living Freely and Lightly: A Culture Spinning Out of Control; Are You Out of Control?; Seven Lies That Feed the OOC Lifestyle
Section 2 - Spiritual Practices for Peace and Rest: It All Starts with the Sabbath; The Practice of Solitude and Silence; The Practice of Presence
Section 3 - Three Movements for Lifestyle Change: Move Your Priorities; Move Away from Technology; Move into Community
Conclusion: Your New Life in His Control
Study Guide; About the Authors; Acknowledgements
Now, I know they sent me this book because I mentioned that I am a software developer and write technology articles (and blog, and review, and and and...). They probably figured "here's a stressed out technogeek... let's see what *he* thinks!". This Christian technogeek liked the book a lot. Rather than present a list of ten steps to follow in order to have a more peaceful life (great... another "program" to incorporate into my schedule!), the authors make the case for establishing a few practices to recenter and refocus your life on things that matter. Taking the time to pray and meditate on a regular basis in order to reconnect with God... Turning off the ever-present cacophony of sound and stimulus that keeps us from learning about ourselves... And of course, stepping back from the tyranny of technology that demands more and more of our attention on a daily basis. Technology was supposed to help us *save* time, not become the slavemaster that forces us into being available 24/7. And while it would be good to be able to do everything in the book, they're realistic enough to know that small steps can start to change you. Maybe it's shutting off the cell phone after you leave work. It could be ignoring email for a day while you focus on family. It might even be as simple as starting to use the word "no" when people ask for your time and attention, and you don't have it to give. Written in a conversational tone, the authors deliver their message in an empathetic way while also challenging you to make some changes that will have significant rewards in other areas of your life.
Fortunately, I'm not (yet?) feeling like I'm trying to fit 36 hours into a 24 hour day. But I know the time I *do* have isn't spent the way I want it to be. Now that I've read the book once, I'll be going back through it and pondering exactly how my life needs to be altered to make a difference in the lives of others. A very good and potentially life-altering read...