I just finished Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and to say that I adored it just wouldn’t do the book justice. It is the story of Don editing his life (aka Blue Like Jazz one of the best books I’ve ever read) in an effort to transform it into a movie script (a movie that is being released this Friday). While “editing his life” he learns about the concept of “story” as it applies to making a good movie, but then begins applying it his actual life. I’m not going to bore you with an attempt to better explain the book because I will do a terrible job. Just trust me, it’s awesome, and terribly motivating. And if you don’t believe me, here are a few of my favorite lines from the book.
Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller.
If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.
The reward you get from a story is always less than you thought it would be, and the work is harder than you imagined. The point of a story is never about the ending, remember. It’s about your character getting molded in the hard work of the middle.
As I read this book, I spent a lot of time thinking about what the story of my life looks like, and what I want it to look like. To be totally honest, it feels a lot like the story of my life has been on hold since being diagnosed with a disease. My “life plan” was disrupted, my attention and emotion have frequently been consumed by health concerns. I’m still working on figuring it all out, and most days I make far less progress than I should. But there are a few things that I do know.
While my disease does not define me, it does give me the opportunity to do something different with my life than I would have otherwise done. What this may be I am not yet sure, but I am diligently working on figuring it out. I can choose to be the victim or I can choose to do something amazing with it. I choose to be amazing.
I want my life to be a better story than it is right now. I want my life to be better, to be more meaningful, to be filled with intention. I want it to be a story filled with love, grace, passion, kindness, strength.
There have been some truly magical moments in my life, most of them found in the simple, quiet moments when you hardly expect to be making treasured memories. I want my life to be filled with more and more of those memories. Sometimes that simply means being open and aware, other times that means setting out with the intention to create magic. I intend to do far more of both.
This book has clearly left me thinking, and there are countless more thoughts floating around in my head as I mull over what I have read. This is just the beginning. It was the perfect time in my life for this book to come along and give me a kick in the butt to make some changes. So away we go!