Some Favourite Quotes from a Million Miles in a Thousand Years

0785213066I previously wrote a review of Donald Miller’s book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.”  You can read that review here.

Miller is always really quotable, here are a few of my favourites:

“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers.  You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen.  The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back.  Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.”

“But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful.  The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.”  (xiii)

“Without story, experiences are just random.” (27)

“I think life is staggering and we’re just used to it.  We all are like spoiled children no longer impressed with the gifts we’re given- it’s just another sunset, just another rainstorm moving in over the mountain, just another child being born, just another funeral.” (58)

“I don’t know why we need stories but we always have.”  (80)

“Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life.  It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it and then when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it… People like to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen.  But joy costs pain.” (99-100)

“The mountains themselves call us into greater stories.” (159)

“There is an intrinsic feeling in nearly every person that your life could be perfect if you only had such-and-such a car or such-and-such a spouse or such-and-such a job.  We believe we will be made whole by our accomplishments, our possessions, or our social status.  It’s written in the fabric of our DNA that life used to be beautiful and now it isn’t, and if only this and if only that, it would be beautiful again.” (201-202)

“I don’t mean to insinuate that there are no minor climaxes to human stories.  There are.  A kid can try to make the football team and in a moment of climax see his name on the coach’s list.  A girl can want to get married and feel euphoric when the man of her dreams slides a ring on her finger.  But these aren’t the stories I’m talking about.  These are substories.  When that kid makes the football team, he is going to find out that playing football is hard, and he’s going to find himself fin the middle of yet another story.  And the girl is going to wake up three months into her marriage and realize she is, in fact, still lonely, and so many of her issues haven’t gone away… they thought the climax to their substory was actually a climax to the human story, and it wasn’t.  The human story goes on.” (202-203)

“There is a lot of money and power to be had convincing people we can create an Eden here on earth.” (205)

“Do I still think there will be a day when all the wrongs are made right, when our souls find the completion they are looking for?  I do.  But when all things are made right, it won’t be because of some preacher or snake-oil salesman or politician or writer making promises in his book.  I think, instead, this will be done by Jesus.  And it will be at a wedding.  And there will be a feast.”  (206)


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