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

What would it look like to edit your life so that it would make a good movie? That is what Donald Miller faced when he was approached to turn his memoir, Blue Like Jazz into a movie. As Don began to understand what makes for a great story, he started to see how these principles could also make for a great life; his journey is chronicled in his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

As characters in God’s story, we have a choice: to follow the plot God is unfolding, or resist God and try to write our own plot. If sin originally means “to miss the mark,” maybe the greatest sin of all is to intentionally miss out on the story in which God has included me. Is seeking my own comfort instead of risking it all with God the real area of sin in my life?

I have had a lot of changes in my life story in the last five years. I was transformed by studying through the Bible, got married, moved five different times (in two different countries) and left my career to take on a support-based vocation. As a result, I found a fog has settled into my soul, a fog which some might call depression. In God’s sovereignty, two things came into my life at the same time that I believe will help to lift this fog. This book was one of them. The other is the realization that I need to see a counsellor who can help me process what I have walked through in the last five years (or more). I share this because my current context really influenced my opinion of the book. In many ways Miller’s own journey towards living a better story has changed him and has changed his writing. Some may be put off by this, but it was exactly want I needed to read.

Much of what Don says about how his discovery of what makes a good story – which challenged him to make changes in his life – challenges me. Am I living a story worth telling, or that I will even remember? I believe God longs for me to go on an adventure with Him, but have I given that up because a good story involves the characters being transformed by the conflict they face? Jesus paid a great price for me to be freed from the bad story I was in. Jesus is actually our best example of what a great story looks like: defeating sin and gaining victory for all in His resurrection. God is calling me to join in that story, which will have it’s climax when Jesus returns.

I am thankful for the characters God has surrounded me with in my story. I am thankful for my wife, my immediate family and my spiritual family. I am also thankful for those who, in a small way, are watching my story unfold here on this blog. I hope that it will be one that is worth reading about.


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