Thursday, May 6, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Summary: This book chronicles the author's journey as he attempts to screen write his life story. 

My Thoughts: First, I need to say that I love Donald Miller. Not in a i-wanna-make-out-with-him-under-the-bleachers kind of way but in a God-uses-the-words-you-write-to-change-the-way-I-live-my-life way.  Miller has written four other books that are all amazing in their own way, but I truly believe that this is his best yet. His writing style is engaging as usual and makes you feel as if you are sitting and chatting with a friend. This book helps you to realize that your life is a story in which you are the main character and that you are the author. And as Don writes, "a character is what he does." We all neglect to realize that those around us can't see our thoughts and feelings. They can only know us by what we do and say. I might want to help the homeless in my community but what am I actually doing that communicates that to those around me. As I think about my life in this way, up until now, I would not want to read the story I have written.
Miller talks about how we have become so accustomed to the wonders around us. Sunsets, rainbows and  mountains have lost their wonder. One of the most powerful passages for me is when Don shares his hope that as God was creating our world and was writing us into His story He did so as if to say, "Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you." What a powerful message to hear from God.
My dear friend, Jennifer, posted on facebook that all parents should read and apply pages 49-54. It is an incredible story of how a man helped to change the course of his daughter's story. As parents I think it is important to remember that children, especially teenagers, are trying to figure out what kind of character they want to be. Parents have a huge responsibility to allow their children to develop that character and provide opportunities to live their own story.
I think many people walk through their spoiled lives without acknowledging their story because they are lazy. It is much easier to go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV and repeat than it is to actually expend energy investing in the story of our families or to even use valuable energy to start to figure out what our story should be. "The thing about writing a story, in real life and on paper, is half the effort is just figuring out what the story is going to be," writes Don. And the truth is most of us don't like to do things that are hard. 
This is a book that I will keep on my shelf and read over and over as a reminder of the life I want to live and that I want to live a story that makes a difference.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book for any person who is alive. If you are breathing you should read this book... today.
Possible Offensive Content: Miller is a Christian and I believe he writes this book with an assumption that the reader shares his belief in God. It is possible that this could be offensive to those who do not believe in God.