Like many, I was pleasantly caught off guard by Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. Miller's writing style was so different than the normal Christian book. It seemed so free, casual, and authentic. This isn't to say that I agreed with Miller's theology throughout Blue Like Jazz…but it was really, really fresh. Since then, I've been looking forward to the sequel, so to speak. After authoring a couple of other books, Donald Miller returns with A Million Miles in a Thousand Years–which is well worth picking up.
Miller writes about the experience of having someone want to make a movie of his life, based on Blue Like Jazz. However, they soon came to realize that the real Don was…well…boring.
The big idea of the book might be stated in a question: "If your life was a movie, would anyone watch?"
- "THE SADDEST THING about life is you don’t remember half of it. You don’t even remember half of half of it. Not even a tiny percentage, if you want to know the truth."
- "I can imagine what kind of conversation God and Danielle will have, how she’ll sit and tell God the favorite parts of the story he gave her. You get a feeling when you look back on life that that’s all God really wants from us, to live inside a body he made and enjoy the story and bond with us through the experience."
- "My uncle told a good story with his life, but I think there was such a sadness at his funeral because his story wasn’t finished. If you aren’t telling a good story, nobody thinks you died too soon; they just think you died."
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is less funny than Blue Like Jazz (in fact, it's downright pensive in places), but altogether a more mature, thought-stimulating book. Pick it up…it's not Bonhoeffer or Barth. It's a more like a conversation with a buddy by a campfire or something…but not a shallow one…a good one. By the time you're done you'll want to be a better Christ-follower. And to me, that's the measure of a good, Christian book.