*This post brought to you by Michael Hyatt’s generosity. I won a copy of A MILLION MILES IN A THOUSAND YEARS from his blog and promised to post a review on the release date. It was truly my pleasure!
Nothing I write here about this book will do justice to how much reading it has made me think, re-evaluate, and even be grateful. BLUE LIKE JAZZ had a similar effect on me. This book, I think, messed me up even more. You want need to read this book!
I kept thinking of Rob Bell’s endorsement of this book while I read; I didn’t read this book, “this book read me.”
The foundation of A MILLION MILES is that Miller was given the divine gift of outside perspective when movie producers worked with him to make a movie of BLUE LIKE JAZZ. That’s a book of memoirs, if you’ve read it, but the producers wanted to fictionalize it – make “Don” into a character that movie goers would like. In the middle of this enlightening and sometimes painful process, Donald Miller realizes he hasn’t been living a good story.
My musician husband Dan has a theory that summarizes the concepts in this book well: “the stage isn’t going to find me while I’m sleeping in my basement.” After reading Miller’s book, we could re-phrase that to say a good story won’t find you while you are napping – you have to find the Story!
For writers, this book is gold. But the real beneficiary of Miller’s study of the elements of story is YOU. You, mom, still wondering what to be when you grow up. You, student, wondering how to get through three more years of finals. You, husband, wondering why life seems to be moving in slow motion. You, parent, wondering why your kids aren’t interested in Jesus. You, nobody, who wants to be somebody. This book is for You.
When Miller assesses his own life, one of the main things he realizes is missing is some of the very things I have in abundance: a family and community of friends, which makes me grateful. He’s honest about the way our stories here on earth don’t always work out like movies, which rings true of my own experiences. He is careful to note that just pursuing any kind of dream will not make the difference; there are qualifications to being a good story. Ultimately, Miller uses the Writer’s advice in Ecclesiastes that says we should:
Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let [God] help.
You are going to laugh out loud. You are probably going to cry.
You are never going to want to watch a parade again – you’ll only want to be in it. You are going to love this book!
Here’s a peek (click on the READ button at the lower right):