Saturday, October 31, 2009
D-Mil's New Book
I like Donald Miller. He's easy to relate to. He has an honest approach to Christianity. I don't think he's the most brilliant Christian thinker out there. But, I like what he has to say.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years ranks up there with his other notable books (Blue Like Jazz, Searching for God Knows What).
In real life, he and some friends wrote the screen play for a movie adaptation of Blue Like Jazz. He uses the brainstorming sessions as the basis of this book. He focuses on story. And how he learned about story. And about how he started to live a good story.
To be honest, the blatant use of "living a good story" seemed a bit self-help bookish to me. Something to repeat to oneself in order to live life on the edge. At times, I was wondering if I was reading Wild at Heart, as if in order to be a true super-human/Christian, I needed to go kayaking or hike a mountain (a similar feeling I got from Wild... a book to which I do not give a lot of cred).
But I think Donald's approach is a little less regimented. He even states that often times, life can take a rhythm and that's OK, but it's usually the moments that we 'overcome' that we really remember and grow. So I don't feel the pressure to bike across the US (cause that won't happen, Donald). He simply uses his difficult physical challenges as examples of his turn as the protagonist in a story.
He includes a part about how Denmark is the happiest nation on earth because they have low expectations. This sounds kind of contradictory to his main thesis of dreaming big dreams for our stories, but I think I know what he's talking about. We need to get rid of unrealistic self-absorbed dreams and start enjoying real life. That's one I need to work on.
As usual, Donald had me laughing. I will end with a paragraph from the last chapter (spoiler?):
"Before I learned about story, I was becoming a fatalist. I was starting to believe you couldn't feel meaning in life because there wasn't any meaning to be found. But I don't believe that anymore. It's a shame, because you can make good money being a writer and a fatalist. Nietzsche did it with relative success. Not personal success, mind you, because he rarely got out of bed. But he's huge with twenty-something intellectuals. He's the Justin Timberlake of depressed Germans, and there are a lot of depressed Germans."