my donald miller retrospective

donald miller wrote another spectacular book.  i’ve been told that the critics are not terribly high on a million miles in a thousand years but i don’t care.  i was moved over and over.  beyond compelling, it is the kind of book that makes me want to be closer to god.  i recommend it without reservation.  can i share one more quote?

Nearly every day in the summer I take my dog to Westmoreland Park, where she plays in the creek.  She runs up and down through the creek bed, diving headlong into the water, chasing ducks.  Sometimes when I watch her I think about how good life can be, if we only lose ourselves in our stories.  Lucy doesn’t read self-help books about how to be a dog; she just is a dog.  All she wants to do is chase ducks and sticks and do other things that make her and me happy.  It makes me wonder if that was the intention for man, to chase sticks and ducks, to name animals, to create families, and to keep looking back at God to feed off his pleasure at our pleasure.


i don’t want to ruin the book for you if you haven’t read it, but in this book donald miller literally reforms himself.  he climbed the inca trail, wrote a screen-play, connected with his father (whom he hadn’t seen in 30 years), started a foundation to mentor fatherless kids, and rode a bicycle from coast to coast.  that being said, i was continually surprised by the tone of the book.  i suppose i was expecting some pretension, or some subtle “look how disciplined i am” references.  but miller was invariably self-effacing and transparent.  you might say, “so what” but to me his tone was very endearing.

by contrast, tracy morgan was the subject of the “10 questions” feature in this week’s issue of time magazine.  i can’t claim to be a fan of tracy morgan, but i have nothing against him either.  but when i read his responses to the questions submitted by readers, i was completely repulsed.  disgusted, even.  it seemed to me like he was trying to sound ambitious and clever, but he came off as arrogant and superficial.  like he’s trying to compensate.

i’ve always wondered why humility is not a fruit of the spirit, but it’s not.  kindness is. and so is gentleness.  and gentleness and goodness and patience and self-control. and i’m pretty sure those precious, fragile attributes cannot survive in the presence of pride.  humility is kinda’ hard to describe, but i know it when i see it.

one of the reasons donald miller is such a great writer is because he is a humble man.


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