Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Authors of our own stories..

I just finished Donald Miller's new book called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years".

Really amazing book. I loved Blue Like Jazz for different reasons, and mostly for his style of writing and his willingness to be so honest and transparent about himself and his views of life and spirituality.

I love this book so much, I want to re-read it right now. Maybe I will, but first I'm trying to get my hubby convinced that he should read it. He isnt always much of a book reader, so I'm crossing my fingers on this one. haha. I hope that all of you will grab it or check it out or borrow it and let yourselves dive in like I just did. He has a blog and I'm now following him and you'll find it.

"We have to force ourselves to create scenes. We have to get off the couch and turn the television off, we have to blow up the inner-tubes and head to the river. We have to write the poem and deliver it in person. We have to pull the car off the road and hike to the top of the hill. We have to put on our suits, we have to dance at weddings. We have to make altars..."

First, he talks about writing our own stories. He came into this journey in his life when he was cowriting a movie about his own life..and he kept feeling like his story was so boring. So he started throwing himself into things that were uncomfortable and challenging. He realized he had become a writer and he would sit on his couch writing stories, but he wasnt living a story.

He commented on how throughout the Bible when people had come through huge tragedies or trials, they would build an altar to God, and that maybe that wasn't out of reverance or even completely as an act of worship, but it was a way that they would remember the moment. They would look back and know what that altar meant, where they had come from, what they had overcome.

And the stories that he tells that I will remember most are the stories of people he's met who are making decisions every day that are changing peoples lives..they are throwing themselves into their own stories, taking the pains of life and letting themselves become better through them.

I found myself just so inspired reading..because sometimes I can be so practical and life can feel tough and so not an adventure. I can get into the habit of waking up and wondering what will happen good or bad, and assuming it will be just another day. Sometimes I refuse to let myself be interrupted by an amazing sunset, or a friend's call, or a moment that would be treasured and could become an altar if I would stop and let my life accept something I havent planned for.

The truth is we are all living stories, but we do settle for boring, or selfish, or normal. And there is a world of exciting out there we can invite in. Who we surround ourselves with in life starts to shape us. And if one of us decides to start living an unsettling, exciting, dangerous, unselfish will affect someone else, and then they might do something huge and affect hundreds...and without even knowing it, a choice we make has a ripple affect of love, creativity and inspiration in people's lives all over the world.

"Victor Frankl whispered in my ear all the same. He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me... the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree."

You won't regret the hours you spend on this book...the stories will seep inside and inspire you to take the opportunity you have and write your own story. Change it up today. Do something no one would expect of you, try something you're afraid of trying. And if life is feeling hopeless and you're at the wanting to give up point, throw all of your efforts remaining into someone else, reach out, love people and soon you'll be too busy to feel awful about your situation, and without realizing it, you'll be changing the path of your story and writing a new chapter..---


  1. Wow, this was a really good post. I'll have to see if I can find the book you are talking about! =)

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post. :)
    Perfect too because yesterday i was walking to class thinking to myself how incredibly scared i was about these courses. But how exciting i was to change lives. I took so much time off of school and got too comfortable living my day to day, to think that i will one day be attempting to change my community, open a resource/rehab center for those who have lost their reason to live, im excited. My story intrigues me everyday. Its an exciting story. Its a page turner. Im finally living on the edge of my seat, uncertain on what is in store for me next. :) -Debs

  3. I am just about reading A Million Miles and I am loving it. Definitely Donald's best work. My favorite two stories are the ones about the family that Donald meets on his kayak trip and Donald's trip to hike in South America. Both really hit me a lot.

    I feel so inspired by the idea that I am writing a story by living my life. I have so many small choices every day that add up to creating either a good story or a boring story.

    This book came a the perfect point in my life!

  4. I read this book! i was reading it on a subway and i think this girl was reading over my shoulder and was intrigued, so i had to dig up my school skills of reading comprhension and give a synopsis of what it was about! she took a note of the author and what it was, potentially planted a seed just by being on a train reading abook!

  5. I really enjoyed your post. I have most enjoyed my life when I have taken control of my own story.

    I'm definitely adding this book to my list of things to read this year. :)