Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Own Life

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Inspiring

Oct 28, 2009 (Updated Oct 28, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:He is organic, honest, genuine and he inspires you to live.

Cons:The beauty is he leaves you without a next step, it's up to you now.

The Bottom Line:

A must-read for anyone looking for meaning in life. He beautifully engrains the story with God, while being completely honest and inspiring each person to “live a better story.


What I’ve always admired about Donald Miller’s previous work was the way he could talk about God without actually talking about God. He doesn’t blatantly write that he is writing from a Christian standpoint, yet there is no way you can read through any of his books and not walk away with a sense of a higher being and the hope He brings. Miller’s writing is organic and genuine, and I was afraid he couldn’t keep up with it after he became so popular. However, in “A million miles in a thousand years”, he once again blows me away with his simple, honest approach to life, that inspires readers to really live. 

It’s undeniable that Miller believes in a higher power. It might not be obvious at first, but I think that’s what makes this book great for believers and nonbelievers alike. Both can read this book and get something incredibly important out of it.  It’s like looking at your life through a window and seeing how God orchestrates each life like a movie, with a climax and a turning point and a conclusion. Reading this book has made me fall in love with God as a person, not as a religion. He truly captures the essence of God and leaves you thinking about the God that is here and now instead of some force outside the universe. He is a God we interact with on a daily basis, who has real feelings and emotions and longs for our lives to be rich. 

Because He writes so honestly, Miller knows how to capture the reader’s heart, not just their mind. His honesty brings us to look at our lives honestly. It’s almost a little unsettling to read his story and the way he’s made his life worth something because it provokes each person to ask the most important question of what each of us are doing with our lives. His story in this books begins with moviemakers ready to make a story of Don’s life from his novel “Blue Like Jazz”, however the more they talk and they more they edit Don’s life to make it movie worthy, the more Don contemplates what he wants his life’s story to be. The legacy his life will lead and in the end, wondering if his life will be the kind of story that is worth watching. The way he can be so real with the reader almost forces the reader to be more real with themselves and evaluate the meaning in their lives. It’s something each of us struggle with- the question of what we’re doing with our lives that makes them worth something. 

As we struggle with Don through this crisis of life’s meaning, we realize what it means to truly live and he inspires us to do so. I felt like I worked through this together with him and end inspired to do something. Don uses the phrase “I want to live a better story”, which left me feeling like there is so much more I want to do and accomplish, and I finally feel like I can. Don sees life very clearly, and he helps the reader to step back from their own lives to see their clearly too. Usually when you do this, you realize how uninspired your life can seen and it makes you want to change. He makes you want to truly life for a bigger purpose than yourself, and when you do so you realize that living for someone other than yourself is what gives you life meaning. Don writes about his foundation called “the mentoring project” and describes that what really got him moving in life again was to work to make someone else’s life better. Now through this initiative, fatherless kids around the world are being mentored and inspired, and their lives will be change; their stories will be changed.  

“A million miles in a thousand years” is a must-read for anyone looking for meaning in life, and honestly, who isn’t? He beautifully engrains the story with God, while being completely honest and open and inspiring each person to “live a better story.”


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