A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller – a review

29 Sep

Nesting Dolls“I believe there is a writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us, interacting with us, even, and whispering a better story into our consciousness.” (p.86 of A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)

Donald Miller’s new book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, has been like the best of friends to me – delightful and challenging. I had the privilege of reviewing it for the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers site, and I’m already considering revisiting large portions of the book. The book itself is the theological and narrative equivalent of a set of Russian nesting dolls, with Miller telling the story of how story gave him a better story, inside of a collection of stories. Sounds confusing, right, but it isn’t. Don takes a very conversational tone in his writing, which make insights such as this one all the more arresting when they happen:

“We get robbed of the glory of life because we aren’t capable of remembering how we got here… What I’m saying is I think life is staggering and we’re just used to it.” (p.58, ibid.)

I came away from this book with a deep awareness that the Master Writer wants to tell better stories through me, and that I’ve been either too lazy or too scared to pursue those things. Miller hasn’t laid out a list of logic and reason to make his point, so if the postmodern narrative vibe drives you nuts, then reader beware. But Miller isn’t saying that all stories are equally valid, or that all stories lead to the same path. He’s quite clear in saying some stories are better than others, and that there is truth external to ourselves.

Miller has also penned my favorite description of Nietzsche, but I won’t spoil it for you here.

Miller has given us something, real, raw and honest, and something truly motivating – not a get-rich-quick scheme, or a win friends scheme, but a way to pursue a fulfilling life. If you’re looking for some inspiration to get moving, I highly recommend this book to you. Even if you don’t think that last statement applies to you, it probably does, so go here and buy it:


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