It didn’t take me very long to get sucked into Don Miller‘s latest “story.” While I’m well aware of the human condition and the journey with Jesus being a messy proposition at times (ok, most of the time), I’m not real keen on the whole idea of “messy spirituality” being the norm. After reading Blue Like Jazz, also by Don Miller, I was left with the feeling that a messy spirituality was the glorified path of a disciple of Christ. I liked the book well enough, but something about the impression it left me about my faith just didn’t sit well or feel right to me. Maybe I’m wrong, but that was my experience. Fast forward to present day; I started A Million Miles in a Thousand Years with an unbiased attitude, or so I thought. The first few chapters seemed like a Blue redux to me, but my impressions were soon to change. My sense of, and engagement with, the story was “full on” by page 38 and I was hooked for the rest of the ride.
Throughout my review and read of A Million Miles, I’ve kept a paper with great quotes from the book; that paper is now very full of quotes and page references now. Don Miller does a masterful job of intertwining several stories within the telling of one. I don’t know how much I may have read into the story, but I was tracking several thoughts and experiences (including my own story and experience) throughout the majority of the book. I don’t know if this will be the impression of anyone else reading the book, but once I got past my initial doubts (and yes, bias) A Million Miles flat-out owned me. It was a quick read at two-hundred fifty pages, but not “light” of content. There is a lot of depth to the book and it all but forces introspection and heart examination; where are you and what is your story within The Story?
I hesitate at printing quotes for a review; I know publishers and publicists don’t particularly like that, but suffice it to say I will be quoting some of this book in private conversations and there will be a few that make it into my teaching sessions…(Don, I’ll be sure to credit you). I don’t think I would be cheating to spell out a few chapter titles though, so let your imagination run with these: Writing the World, You’ll be Different at the End, A Character is What He Does, Listen to Your Writer…and these are just from the first two parts of the book (there are five parts).
This is a story about learning the art of story to retell a story; in the process of all this…a bigger story begins to be understood…The Story…HIS Story. There is a lot going on in A Million Miles…a lot. There’s much to be gleaned for the observant reader and/or a great story for the casual reader. I consider a win-win for either or both. Final Answer? I walked away a little disturbed from Blue Like Jazz; I leave A Million Miles challenged, inspired, encouraged, and ready to get my story on.