02 September 2015

Book Review: Tranquility

Tranquility: Cultivating a Quiet Soul in a Busy World (Baker Books, 2015) by David W Henderson addresses an important topic, the noisiness of life that too often invades our souls. On page 3, he introduced the book in this way: "Instead of asking, 'How do we manage time?' this book asks, 'How do we manage ourselves as people who are ever in time's flow?' It is about perspective and focus, yieldedness and willingness, quiet and silence, putting first the things that should be first, waiting and trusting and resting."

For those of us living in Western cultures, busyness defines much of our lives. We race from one task to the next, seemingly eager to fit yet more activity into schedules. In fact, it is arguable that not only does busyness define our lives, it is often viewed as a personal strength. Efficiency, something I have long prided myself on, is seen only for its benefits. We are encouraged to do more faster and better. But what if busyness damages us and our relationships? In the beginning of the book, Henderson explores with the reader some of the problems with hurry which range from relational to medical (i.e., the "Type A" personality).

In the remainder of the book, he explores ways in which we can begin to redeem time, not by becoming more efficient, but by quieting our souls.  He helps the reader to see who we are in relation to God and others. He explores the biblical basis for sleep and rest, calling the reader to view the Sabbath as a gift.

On the whole, this is a readable, enjoyable and important addition to the growing spiritual formation literature. If you are someone who, like me, has struggled with quieting my soul, consider reading Tranquility.

I received a free copy of this book from Baker Books in exchange for this review. I was not required to submit a positive review. The views expressed above are my own.  

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