Book Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

When I wrote about Don inviting me into his life through his story, I had no idea that his newest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, was about story. I didn’t know it was about writing the script for a movie about Blue Like Jazz. I didn’t know it was about him creating little stories in his life, or about how he thought he didn’t have a story to tell. I just knew that I liked Don’s writing and the way he shared his life.

If you haven’t read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, you need to. My copy was new with a shiny cover, and unread pages. I was apprehensive about writing in it, but I had to. I can’t read without a pen in hand, especially with words as delectable as Don’s. The pages are now full of underlined quotes, starred passages, and my own thoughts in the margins.

Don writes beautifully about how each person has a story to tell in God’s grand story. Some people are living very boring stories — sitting on couches, watching television, and not living the life that the Writer, who is God, has intended for them to live. Still, others understand what it means to create stories and live a life worthy of hearing, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Don writes about his boring life turning into a great story because he got up off the couch.

One of my favorite quotes is this,

“I asked Bob what was the key to living such a great story… [he] said he didn’t think we should be afraid to embrace whimsy. I asked him what he meant by whimsy, and he struggled to define it. He said it’s that nagging idea that life could be magical; it could be special if we were only willing to take a few risks,” p. 167.

I laughed out loud, many times. I was encouraged over and over. I was inspired. I vowed to get up of the couch and do something.. right when I was done reading the book.

I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I’d be lying if I said it was just another book to check off my list. It’s not a book you can read lightly and move on quickly. It requires action. So I’ve decided to enter into a few stories of my own. I was going to wrap up this year with a blog post about how I accomplished most of my goals. Just most of them. Some of them are quite simple to accomplish, and yet I was only waiting for them to happen, sitting on the couch, instead of acting on them and making them happen. It’s still 2009, so I’ve decided to press on and see if I can’t knock a few more off my list in this last week.

This is only the beginning. It’s only a practice story. There will be more to come.

What story are you beginning? What story do you need to begin?


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