let me be clear: this is not a review of donald miller’s new book “a million miles in a thousand years.” i’m only about half-way through, but already i’m feeling that old familiar sensation. miller is sucking me in. he knows it and i know it, but i can’t stop it. he is going to ruin my life. he is going to make me feel like a half-hearted follower of jesus. he is going to make me wonder if i love myself more than jesus. he is going to force me to ask questions i’m afraid to ask. and there’s nothing i can do about it. his weapon is his writing and i am utterly defenseless.
and i love it.
donald miller has helped me see a “big picture” god–a god who is much bigger than my measly efforts to appease him. miller has introduced me to a god who is madly in love with me and will stop at nothing to connect with me (and yet i continually thwart his efforts with my self-erected parameters, my demand for rules and formulas). donald miller’s writing creates desire in me; it never fails to birth in me a dream for something bigger/greater.
The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is “Do not fear.” It’s in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn’t let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I thought of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn’t only a guide to keep us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life. (p. 108)
another powerful passage for me was where miller talked about hearing a radio interview with a woman who worked with people who had been abused.
She said most women who came to her for help go back to the situation they come out of, back to the man who abused them. When the interviewer asked why, the woman said that even though most women had family they could escape to and friends who would take them in, they returned to the abusive man because the situation, as bad is it might be, was familiar. People fear change.
and miller synopsizes…
Humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn’t all that comfortable. And even if they secretly want for something better. (p. 100)
see what i mean? there are only about a million parallels between the above passages and the church (and perhaps even more to my life). i’ll keep you updated, but in meantime i’m going to enjoy getting sucked in.