Monday, August 30, 2010

A Million Miles: Chapters 7-9

Happy Monday! This week is going to be a zoo for me because the Baarts are moving! We're so excited. :) In fact, I was able to get into our new house this morning and begin painting and moving some boxes in. Though we don't officially move until Saturday, it's going to be a week-long process because we didn't just buy a new house, we are actually swapping houses with the family that bought our house. Crazy, eh? And not only are we trading homes, but the people who we originally bought our current house from have bought it back. Are you following me? It's quite the story--very exciting and smudged with God's divine fingerprints. We couldn't have dreamed this up if we tried!

At any rate, I'll be taking a break from blogging for the rest of the week as we endure the final push to get into our new house. I'm exhausted... And it's only Monday. But I had to blog today because I am so excited to talk about this section in our book. Chapter 9 (How Jason Saved His Family) contains one of the most powerful stories I have ever read. Ever. I think it encompasses the complexity of the human condition (at least, the condition of the humans inhabiting most of North America) and our longing for something more. At our core we long for meaning. I believe that heart and soul...

So. I'm dying to know. Did Jason's story hit you as hard as it hit me? How many of us have lived Rachel's life? We're not bad people, we're just "choosing the best story" available to us. We want to be pursued, wooed, adored, wanted. We want to be a part of a grand adventure. And when our experiences fall short we try to manufacture feelings and excitement from things that will not (cannot) satisfy. I love how Miller puts it: "I pictured his daughter (Rachel) flipping through the channels of life, as it were, stopping on a story that seemed the most compelling at the moment, a story that offered something, anything, because people can't live without a story, without a role to play." Wow.

By the end of the chapter, Miller's friend Jason was able to say this about his daughter: "She knows who she is. She just forgot for a little while." Wow again.

Like last week, I'm not going to eulogize the book. Instead I'll open up the discussion... Have you ever lived a role simply because it was better than nothing? What is the best story available to you right now? Have you ever forgotten who you were? What caused you to remember? Of course, you can always talk about what stood out to you in these chapters. Looking forward to hearing from you!


  1. Haven't had a chance to pick up the book yet, but I find your questions very interesting! Living a role is something I did a lot of in high school--you always want to fit in where you can, even if that group of people isn't quite the best choice. I eventually "found" myself after realizing that I didn't need to be anyone else but me. Honestly, writing was what I needed to break me out of that phase. The last two years of high school I took creative writing classes and I got to know myself a little better. I finally knew what stories I wanted to tell. Since A Million Miles seems to be concerned with telling your own story, I thought my response might be appropriate, even though I haven't read it yet! I've loved these posts. A lot of great things to think about and use for your own life.


  2. Well, I can say I feel stagnant in my role on Earth right now. I'm just going by day to day, sometimes slacking off - okay, mostly slacking off - and not really knowing who I am; or, knowing, but not acknowledging, because I don't like what I see, and I don't know how to change it.