Although I was born and raised in a big city, one of my favorite things to do is sit in the woods or mountains in silence. These times of peace are very important to me and should be for everyone. However, we live in a chaotic world where people try to stay busy. Constantly working is associated with being productive whereas taking time to relax is seen as not working hard enough. We think there is something wrong if we are not doing. David W. Henderson addresses these issues and urges us towards a mindful restfulness in his book Tranquility: Cultivating a Quiet Soul in a Busy World.

Henderson begins by writing about the lack of time for peace that our culture has and the constant need to busy ourselves. He lists the external societal factors alongside our internal factors. These include pressures from others to perform to a certain capacity as well as our own fear of missing out. With this as a background he begins to address our view of time in contrast with a Biblical view of time. Through scripture and personal narrative he calls us to look at our own lives and question our views on how we spend our time. In the last part of the book he continues to show the importance of rest and how it fits into daily life.

One quote in particular that stood out to me was:

 “The more nuanced picture that emerges is that Jesus viewed his time neither as his nor as belonging to those who surrounded him and presented him with their needs. Jesus understood that his time belonged to the Father, and he spent his time doing those things to which the Father called him—whether spending time alone, focusing on his disciples, or ministering to the crowds.” – pg 113

I enjoyed the message this book offered and feel as though it could benefit those who have a constant need to perform. These are principles I think are important that I have already incorporated into my life before reading this book.

Do you feel the constant need to be busy? Why? What do you think times of rest and tranquility would do?

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program.


2 thoughts on “Tranquility

  1. You’re so spot on and I really appreciated that you reviewed a book like this! I’m getting into books more about philosophy/spirituality/social issues. So thank you!

    I find that I feel a need to always be busy only when I live in cities/am surrounded by people who are always busy. The thing is, I love having a busy mind. Even in the country or in open spaces—my mind is always racing. But sometimes it’s racing with existential ideas or thoughts about who I want to be. I don’t necessarily want it to be clear–but I definitely don’t want to feel bad for sitting and doing nothing in nature. Basically, my mind will always be churning, but that doesn’t mean I’m not resting. In fact, I prefer it to churn. Just as long as it churns positivity & not negativity. Does that make sense? I hope so!


    1. It definitely makes sense. The other day I was hiking and was so absorbed in my thoughts and creativity that I was startled/scared by people walking in the other direction. My brain didn’t register that others existed until I almost ran into them.

      Liked by 1 person

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