Friday, April 24, 2015

The Inmates are Running the Asylum by Stephen Altrogge

When my work load is overwhelming, I don't want my reading to be heavy too. So I was happy to stumble upon these essays by Stephen Altrogge.  I must have been in the mood for Atrogge's quirky humor, because I had to keep myself from laughing out loud on the subway when I read, "There are certain things that parenting books can't prepare you for, such as dealing with real, living children."

This short book (68 pages) is light and witty, yet not "fluffy." Altrogge gives you lots to think about as he pokes fun at parenting experts, Amish romances, reality TV, and organic food. I really appreciated what he had to say about the present popularity of bucket lists:

If you were to only look at our bucket lists, you would conclude that my generation is the most ambitious generation to ever walk the face of the earth. Everybody wants to accomplish a lot of awesome things. Now, I'm all for ambitious goal-setting and for trying to acheive great things, but the whole concept of a bucket list kind of bothers me. When you think about it, the whole concept is profoundly selfish. [The Bible says,] "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." If anything, I should be making a bucket list of ways I want to serve others before I die."

Where's the excitement in that? Wheres the fun and thrill in that? I mean, holiness doesn't exactly give the same adrenaline rush as dropping out of a helicopter and skiing down the slopes of a mountain. The thing God cares about and honors is faithfulness, not famousness. Faithfulness looks like creating spreadsheets and changing diapers and caring for aging parents and setting up chairs on Sunday morning. Nobody gets a standing ovation for faithfulness. Nobody even notices, except God.

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum is an odd combination of goofy humor and clear thinking. Worth a look.


Farm Girl said...

Well if his essays are like the one you shared. I will have to find this book. I have felt like such a slacker because I do not have a bucket list.
This makes me feel better. :) Even reading that one, I chuckled. Thanks for sharing today.

camp and cottage living said...

Oh, this sounds like my kind of book!
I so agree with Stephen and his books really sounds delightful.

Sharon said...

I love the sound of this book! Now to see if my library has it.