In today's high-speed culture, there's a prevailing sense that we are busier than ever before and that the pace of life is too rushed. Most of us can relate to the feeling of having too much to do and not enough time for the people and things we value most. We feel fragmented, overwhelmed by busyness and the tyranny of gadgets.
Veteran pastor and teacher Arthur Boers offers a critical look at the isolating effects of modern life that have eroded the centralizing, focusing activities that people used to do together. He suggests ways to make our lives healthier and more rewarding by presenting specific individual and communal practices that help us focus on what really matters. These practices--such as shared meals, gardening, hospitality, walking, prayer, and reading aloud--bring our lives into focus and build community. The book includes questions for discernment and application and a foreword by Eugene H. Peterson.
Arthur Boers (DMin, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor and R. J. Bernardo Family Chair of Leadership at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Ontario. He served as a pastor for sixteen years and is the award-winning author of numerous articles and six books, including The Way Is Made by Walking and The Rhythm of God's Grace. He speaks regularly at churches, conferences, and retreats.
For many years now, [Arthur Boers] has embraced [Albert] Borgmann's passion for living a generous life...This book is his personal witness to the practices that develop into a life of wealth, of generous abundance.
-Eugene H. Peterson,
It's one thing to clear a piece of land, move the rocks, rake the soil, and protect it with a fence. It's another to bring it to life with berry-bearing bushes, exuberant tubers, vigorous vegetables, and many-splendored flowers. It's that second thing that Arthur Boers has done; he's taken a theory and made it fruitful.
University of Montana
Arthur Boers has written an insightful, wise, and practical book for people who are feeling exhausted, bored, fragmented, or simply lost in a world of unending busyness and distraction. It is a gift for all of us who want to focus our lives on the places, people, and practices that deeply matter and that give honor to God.
research professor of theology, ecology, and rural life, Duke Divinity School
I've been waiting for someone to write this important book. Herein Arthur Boers alerts us to the astonishingly overlooked 'quiet desperation' afflicting our lives through the incessant distractions offered by our technological age. And he offers us practices that make space for grace and beauty and focus, which is to say, practices that create the sort of wealth that is the true longing of humankind.
-Lee C. Camp,
author of Who is My Enemy? and host of TokensShow.com
This is an essential book for people of faith who don't want to drown in a culture of distraction. If you read it in a group, it will generate lively discussion. If you read it with your family, it will change the way you live together. And if you read it alone, it will produce some serious soul searching. This book is a life raft in a sea of words.
coauthor of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers and author of Tell It Like It Is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony
[Boers] offers a needed antidote to the way of life he maintains has hijacked our humanity: technology addiction...He defines the distraction of technology as low-threshold activity (or better, non-activity) that diminishes humans and breaks down connectedness to people and one's sense of place...The commitment to reverse this fragmentation is what he calls 'eccentric faithfulness': stay connected to those in our families and communities face to face, heart to heart. That takes 'focal practices' that demand more but render intangible returns--the ballast of authentic belonging...The book is lengthy and tightly written, and makes demands of the reader for patience. But that, one presumes, is precisely the point.