… called ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’, by Miller. I’ve been reading it with TD&H and we like to say that we are reading Miller, rather than say we are reading ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, or even reading Don Miller. Just saying Miller makes him sound a little like Shakespeare, or Tolstoy, or Dickens.
I kind of think Miller is just as good as Shakespeare or Tolstoy or Dickens, probably even better. I’ve tried to read Shakespeare and Tolstoy and haven’t made it through a single book yet. And I haven’t even been able to start anything by Dickens. But Miller? I’ve read through two of his books already, more than once, and I’m now onto my third.
I kind of hope Miller is a little self-centred, or perhaps curious, and that every now and then he Google searches himself, or his book, or both. I sometimes Google myself. There is an actress named Laura Fraser. And an author. They take up most of Google, but that’s okay, because apparently they are very famous and I am not.
Maybe one day I will make it to the first page of Google, but for now I’m a few pages in. I think it’s something to do with World Vision or my work. It’s been at least a few weeks since I’ve Googled myself, so I can’t really remember.
But back to Miller. Maybe he will Google himself and a few pages in he will find a little blog post on Laura and Friends and he will read it and be happy that someone thinks he is better than Shakespeare or Tolstoy or Dickens. Or maybe he will giggle.
Or maybe he will decide to Google ‘Laura Fraser’ and he’ll click through those few pages until he finds the Laura Fraser that isn’t the actress or the author. Maybe he will find a photo of me and think I look like a lovely girl and that he would quite like to know me.
TD&H thinks I have a little crush on Miller and I haven’t completely denied it yet. Perhaps when TD&H reads this, he might decide that we shouldn’t read Miller anymore. He might take the book away and make us read Tolstoy instead. Icky Tolstoy, I do not want to read you.
But I don’t think he’s really the jealous type (TD&H, or Tolstoy, for that matter… not that I know him personally). And besides, TD&H has another girlfriend. Well, she’s a pretend girlfriend. Her name is Lola and she lives in Melbourne. At least, that’s what we joke. (There really is no Lola folks, I don’t want to go starting rumours.)
Back to Miller again and his book ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’. He talks about how life should be lived like a good story, and that any good story has characters that need to overcome something in order to get what they want. The challenges or the difficulties or just the obstacles between us and what we want shouldn’t be ignored, or deemed too hard, or a cause to give up. It’s overcoming these things that makes for a good story, for a great life.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want lately. Not in a greedy, gimme gimme gimme kind of way. But in a ‘what kind of life do I want to lead‘ kind of way.
Some of my friends and I have been talking about our dreams after we heard this guy from America speak at church on dreams, and how important it is to dream, and to write those dreams down. He said he wanted to write a list of 100 dreams – things he wanted to achieve with his life. He thought it would be easy – not the achieving part, but the writing down 100 dreams part. He was surprised when it wasn’t.
He got to ten dreams and then he got stuck. I remember him saying how he realised he could only really keep ten things in his head at once. It wasn’t that he didn’t have more dreams, its just he couldn’t remember them all. When he dreamed a new dream, he either forgot one of his old dreams, or forgot the new dream. He could only keep ten in his head before he was full.
But when he put pen to paper, and over time, he found he could be dreaming lots of dreams at once. Some were big huge incredible dreams that might take forever to come to pass – literally, it might not be until eternity that he’d see them realised. Others were more achievable, if he put in the hard work and the effort and lots and lots of time. And still others, he could achieve soon, in the next few months, the next few years.
I got inspired to write down some dreams and Miller has me thinking again about what I want. It’s important to think about it, I don’t think it’s greedy or self-centred. If you know what you want, if you know who you want to be and how you want to live, you will be willing to work towards it.
You will be willing to sacrifice some things because, though they might be fun or interesting or popular, they might not move you closer to what you want. So when you realise that, you feel better about saying no, or ignoring them, or putting your focus and time and energy into the things that really count. Like having good relationships or a strong family, or making the world a better place rather than just consuming stuff, or being the best you can be and making the most of the talents God has giving you.
I want a lot of things, physical things and relational things and adventurous things and awe-inspiring things. I want to make sure that those who see my life, who read my story, are inspired. That’s another thing Miller keeps getting at – the way my story will affect your story – the way your story affects my story.
If you are living a good story, an adventurous story, a daring and courageous story, it will encourage me to live good, to live adventurously, to be daring and courageous. How you live tells me what you think is important and maybe that’s family, or faith, or food. Mmmm, food.
What is your story about, really? If someone were to look at who you are, at how you are spending your time, your money, at what you are dreaming about – is it a good story? Will it be an epic? I want you to live an epic tale, because I want to live an epic tale, and the characters of all the best stories live epic tales together.
So what is your story about, really?