Earlier this summer I revisited Blue Like Jazz, a New York Times Bestseller about ‘Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality’ by Donald Miller. I was blown away. Though I read it five years ago, I identify with the novel much more now than I did back then. Blue Like Jazz left me wanting more, so I reread Through Painted Deserts, a book Don wrote about his road trip across the US. After that I decided to see what Don was up these days. Naturally I started with Google. I found his blog and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I was reading through the archives when an entry from April 15 caused me to sit up a bit straighter: “Can I Tell You a Story?” If my life is a story, who would read it? Would it be interesting? Would it have memorable scenes? Would there be great risk involved? Would it be a story worth remembering?
Lucky for me, I didn’t have to settle for a blog post. Don wrote a book about living a better story. It’s called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and if it’s possible to be even more blown away, then I certainly was.
I must have bookmarked over 20 pages in A Million Miles. I underlined, highlighted, and used asterisks. I re-read my favourite parts and spent hours staring into space thinking about the new ideas I’d just been graced with.
Quite simply, the book’s too good not to share, so over the next while I’m going to post some quotations from the novel in what I will call “Dose of Don.”
Without further ado, here is “Dose of Don: Entry One.” The following excerpt is how the novel begins. It gives you a pretty good indicator of what you’re getting yourself into. Enjoy!
“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.
But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either. Here’s what I mean by that:” (Miller xiii).