Unhitching from the Crazy Train: Finding Rest in a World You Can’t Control

Reviewed by: Mary Newenhisen, a professional writing major at Taylor University.



Title: Unhitching from the Crazy Train: Finding Rest in a World You Can’t Control

Author: Julie Sparkman, with Jennifer Phillips

Publisher: New Hope Publishers

Publication Date: February 5, 2018

Format: Print book, paperback

Length: 158 pages



With an honest and conversational tone, Sparkman guides the reader toward peace in the midst of the uncontrollable craziness of life. The author tells personal stories and offers insightful metaphors, letting her experience as a counselor shine through. It’s made clear from the beginning that this is not a self-help book. One of the reasons a Christian life can become stressful is through a self-help mentality that tries to take responsibility for everything. The book goes through how to confront this mentality without falling to the other extreme of playing the victim, and how, instead, to rely on Jesus to give rest.

Everyone has a picture of how life should go, and when nothing fits that picture it can start to feel as though God is no longer in control. Many times the things people want are good, but these desires may not be aligned with what God wants. This book leads the reader through the process of surrendering that picture to God for Him to reshape.

Each chapter ends with four to six reflection questions. Some of the questions come across as a little harsh or judgmental because they equate worry and doubt with active disobedience and tell the reader to repent of things that seem more like human inadequacies than actual sins. However, for the most part the questions are insightful and are posed so as to get more than a trite answer.


Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

This book is best suited to Christian adults, particularly those feeling overwhelmed by the fast pace and unceasing demands of our culture. A reader outside the Christian faith might not gain much from this book, which focuses on one’s relationship with Jesus and how that can provide peace and rest.

Christian Impact

The Christian culture is just as guilty of overburdening people as the secular world. There can be such an emphasis on serving God that the act of worshipping Him falls to the wayside. This book seems to be a reaction to that culture of busyness and functions as a call to surrender and realize that our concerns are small compared to our Savior. One major element focuses on delighting in God. This doesn’t just mean being happy with Him; it is a process of being molded and letting Him align one’s thoughts and desires with His own.



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Unhitching from the Crazy Train: Finding Rest in a World You Can't Control

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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