Sunday, October 4, 2009

Book Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

A few years ago, a college student I was meeting with recommended a little book called Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Her opinion of it was so high, I picked up a copy and gave it a try. I've never gobbled up a nonfiction book so fast. Donald's perception of the human and Christian experience was riveting and resonant with many of my own beliefs (some of which had been unspoken).

Flash forward about 6 years, and I've been given the opportunity to receive an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Miller's latest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I'd been following Donald on Twitter for some time and have noted his writing-in-progress tweets with some anticipation. So my ARC from the Vine Program was a truly appreciated.

While I didn't take in Million Miles as ravenously as Jazz, I still enjoyed it. Miller perceives our lives as individual story lines, all flowing in the great Story that God is telling. We are not mere spectators to God's narrative, we are all participants. The question is, what kind of story are we going to tell? The world aches for good stories to witness, good stories to repeat to others. And of course, the best and most interesting stories are ones that have obstacles to surmount, challenges to overcome.

While on some level I agree with Miller on this point, on another it's hard to swallow. I've had a measure of pain in my life, and while no one would call my story a tragic one, there have been times when I've questioned why God has put me in the particular storyline He's written. It's very hard to accept the "pain makes life more interesting" notion when you're in the middle of a quagmire.

Having said that, I've had days when I've positively resonated with God's purpose for my life, days when the joy was so great I could almost hear it. It is in those times that I've felt a part of a greater story, and one in which I love to have this role. I only hope and pray that when I look back during the epilogue, that I, those around me and the Father above will have enjoyed what they've witnessed. As Miller discusses, it's a long climb up the mountain, but the view from above will be so glorious.

For more information on Donald Miller, go to or follow him on Twitter (donmilleris)

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