A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

January 6, 2010

i finished my first book of the new year! sure i started it at the end of november, but i finished it in january!

my girlfriend kendra recommended this book on her blog, so i had to read it. it’s by donald miller, a christian guy. he is a lot like francis chan- discontent with america’s view of Christianity and the church. but that’s not what this book is about. this book is about stories. his story. the stories people he knows are living. the stories he knows God wants us to be living.

this book is written because one of his other books is being turned into a movie. but you can’t just turn a book into a movie. lots of changes need to be made so that there’s action. something to propel the story forward. even though donald miller was a successful author before this book, in the midst of it he goes to a seminar to learn about story. what is a story? how do you tell one? how do you live one?

basically a story is a character who wants something and has to overcome something to get it. very simply put. and that’s what life is about. or it should be. but there are lots of people, characters who don’t know what they want. and their stories suck. so they might go and join someone else’s story because they are overcoming an obstacle to get what they want.

miller talks about this 16 year old girl who gets caught by her parents with some pot. it’s from her boyfriend. her boyfriend sucks. but he is a character overcoming obstacles to get what he wants. he is living a story, but it’s a bad one, cause the thing he wants is drugs. this 16 year old girl doesn’t have a story, so she joins her boyfriend’s terrible story. miller tells his friend, the dad of the 16 year old, all this. and the dad realizes it’s his fault. he hasn’t created a story that’s interesting for his daughter. so he tells his family one day that they are going to buy an orphange. crazy. but it works. his daughter, and his wife, get caught up in their new family story. they want something and overcome obstacles to get it. before this, they were just a dad, a mom, and a teenage girl. no story. no desires. just 3 people living together in the same house. the marriage was dry. the family life was the same.

chris and i are on the prowl for our family story. it’s probably not going to involve buying an orphange. at least not in the foreseeable (sp?…) future. but what does God want for us watsons? i don’t know. but i am looking forward to finding out what that is, so that we can start overcoming some obstacles to get it!

God wants us all to have great stories. something more than just raising our kids, making sure they do well in school, have friends, and eventually get married. when we get to heaven, God is not going to care whether my kids went to harvard, (cause i am really counting on Him not caring that i didn’t go to harvard.) He is not going to care whether or not my shoes matched my outfit every day. He is not even going to care what age lily and topher got potty trained. God cares a bit about the ‘what’- seeking Him, not drugs; wanting more for others, not ourselves. but He really cares about the ‘how’. how did we live our lives, how did we love His people.

this is a really great book with lots of different stories that challenged me, and in turn my family. i still don’t know the big ‘what’ of our story, but i know the ‘who’, and that’s chris, lils, toto and i. and that already makes this story pretty dang special for me.

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