A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story
By Donald Miller
Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011
I picked up this book because it was a compilation of lessons a favorite author learned while editing his life. I couldn’t put it down, devouring it on one four-hour plane flight, because it was at once both convicting and compelling.
I immediately developed the book into a sermon series for my church; it had helped me find a more meaningful story, and I wanted the same for others.
At the beginning of the book, Donald Miller writes,
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 . . . 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.
Miller points out that a meaningful story includes a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it. I’ve seen the impact this book can have.
A young woman who is struggling with infertility decided to start an international adoption ministry. A father decided to take a less-lucrative job so he could spend more time with his kids. A high school student decided to raise $5,000 to dig a well in Africa. A housewife decided to go and work with Rapha House in Cambodia to help rescue young girls out of slavery and sexual exploitation. And a middle-aged preacher (me) raised $9,000 for the missionary husband who unexpectedly lost his wife—and the mother of four little kids—because of a stroke.
All of this happened because we were challenged to find more meaningful stories.
Which is why I hope you’ll want to read this book and overcome whatever conflict you must to find your own more meaningful story.
Arron Chambers is lead minister with Journey Christian Church in Greeley, Colorado, and a contributing editor for CHRISTIAN STANDARD.