Book Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

I devoured Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, while driving to Laughlin, Nevada this past Thursday. Barbie (my best friend) gave me several of his books as a birthday present and inspiration for us to continue our life stories. I kind of feel like my husband’s travel goal for this summer is “a million miles in three months,” seriously. I’m off work and he’s booking long weekends left, right, and center. Anyway, back to the subject…an incredible book.          


I read the rest of the book while out on our boat floating in the majestic Colorado River. Miller’s amazing theme of story kept me riveted. His blend of real life experiences with the elements of story had me laughing out loud one moment and the next, crying like a slobbering baby.          

Here is one of my favorite parts, “…the story is what changes the character, not the inciting incident. The inciting incident is how you get them to do something…It’s the doorway through which they can’t return…”          


This poignant line, “…the doorway through which they can’t return…” stayed with me all night interrupting my dreams. Life applications went off like 4th of July sparklers at a back yard barbeque. I kept thinking, “I have an amazing life story filled with “inciting incidents,” passages of sorts that forever altered the direction of my life. I can never pass back through those doors again. My story must go on… in a forward motion. Yet, how I long to record my former story with even a fraction of Donald Miller’s talent.          


Miller also includes an intriguing account of hiking up to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. The rigors of his trek opened my eyes to my own son’s similar account. Josiah definitely presented a modest rendition of this incredibly demanding journey (surely to keep his mother from worrying). Through reading Miller’s story, I grew in  my appreciation of the life story Josiah is writing .          

Josiah (far left) and his friends at the Inca Ruins of Machu Picchu


The thought also dawned that my children are in this season of life filled with adventure, purpose, and meaning. The same season of my life that took me to travel in foreign countries as I began my life story.          

M daughter, Elya, and Jesse riding an elephant in Asia


Yes, Donald Miller’s book is a revolutionary plus for anyone wanting to gain fresh insight on an age-old quest, finding one’s destiny. The read made me want to continue to craft my story with new adventures and meaningful purposes in mind          

I picked up my pen a little differently today. My perspective altered and to Barbie I say a big THANK YOU for the gift. I also remembered Miller’s words as I wrote,  “The point of the story is never about the ending, remember. It’s about your character getting molded in the hard work of the middle.”          

I’m excited about co-writing my next story with the Master of all Stories. I give A Million Miles in a Thousand Years a thumbs up!          


*Disclaimer: Since the posting of this book review, my son informed me that he did not do the entire five-day hike along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu; however, I’m still impressed with his partial trek!

6 Replies to “Book Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller”

  1. WOW, I didn’t realize that Josiah had done the Machu Picchu! How cool JoDee! I am so glad you love the book! I cannot wait to talk to you more about it! B


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