Struck by Russ Ramsey, Free for CAPC Members
Death’s party-crashing ways are detailed in a new book by Russ Ramsey, titled Struck: One Christian’s Reflections on Encountering Death.
In June of 2014 I hit a wall. Not literally, but my life came to a halt. As a teacher, I had the summer off. But it was all I could do to get out of bed each day and try to summon the energy for productivity.
It took me a while to figure out I was experiencing burnout. Thankfully, my life was on the upswing by January of the following year. During that stretch, I wish I had a book like David Murray’s Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture to read.If we are willing to slow down and take to heart the advice that Murray offers, the results will be significant.
Ironically, during that same summer I was experiencing burnout, Murray was experiencing troubles of his own. A return of blood clots in his lungs was a catalyst that led him to step back and slow down the pace of his own life. As a result of working through that, and helping many other men do the same, he wrote Reset.
While primarily aimed at men—and men in Christian leadership at that—Murray offers principles that can be adapted to just about anyone. (He plans to write a follow-up for women, co-written with his wife who has been a family physician). Using the metaphor of a garage repair bay, Murray first guides readers through a list of checkpoints (chapters 1–2). He then offers eight chapters of insight for slowing down and resting in grace.
On the one hand, most of the chapters have pretty basic insights. On the other hand, these are the very insights we ignore in our quest to do more and try harder. We neglect getting proper rest (chapter 3). We avoid carving out significant time for leisure and relaxation (chapter 5). We don’t adhere to a proper diet and regular exercise in order to be refueled (chapter 8). And we take on task after task, doing many things with mediocrity, instead of doing a few things well (chapter 7).
Murray’s book is full of practical advice for living well. Along the way, he grounds his suggestions in a solid theology of the body. He also connects it to our design, how we were created in the image of God. It is, in many respects, an excellent example of taking the fruits of common grace psychology and integrating them into a practical theology for Christians.
For readers here at Christ and Pop Culture, Murray models the type of engagement we want to emulate. He holds together a high view of Scripture and a high view of the intelligent findings of Christians and non-Christians alike. He weaves them together into a short book that has the potential for lasting impact. If we are willing to slow down and take to heart the advice that Murray offers, the results will be significant. Whether you’ve experienced actual burnout or can’t shake the feeling that your life is running you ragged, you’ll appreciate the fresh air of grace that Murray offers in Reset.
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