Monday, November 8, 2010

A Million Miles: The End!

It's Monday, Monday, Monday... And I'm loving it. I'm one of those strange people that actually digs Monday. It's a fresh start, a new beginning, a chance once more to get one week right. Granted, I've never achieved that goal yet, but I'm always up for giving it another shot. This week feels clean and bright and full of possibility. It might have something to do with the forecast for today: 70 degrees in November, thank you very much.

Anyway, it seems fitting on such a lovely morning to finally draw our A Million Miles in a Thousand Years discussion to a close. It's been a fun journey, and I've enjoyed your participation so much. Some of those early posts logged comments worthy of publication. Your stories and heartfelt musings were a beautiful thing to behold. But it's time to lay this baby to rest.

Instead of directly discussing the final chapters, I want to share a bit of what I've gleaned from the past months of digging deep into this book. We've already talked about so many things, and I'm sure some of wisdom that I'm taking from Miller's words are the result of our own wrestlings instead of his penned insight. Either way, I truly believe I can say this book changed the way I look at my life. I'm so grateful for that.

So, what have I taken from this book, this discussion, this period of wrestling with life and what it means to live abundantly? I've learned that the little things matter: unexpected snowfalls, conversations with strangers, a shared plate of fruit. I've discovered that if I want to live a meaningful life, all I really need to do is be present for it--to not forsake people for my favorite television show, or moments with my children for a couple extra minutes checking Facebook. I believe a meaningful life is in the details, in surprising yourself, saying "yes" when you want to say "no," being kind, opening your heart and your life and your home. It's about allowing yourself to experience every day with the sort of wide-eyed awe of a child, to laugh when God sings over you and take delight in the unexpected. And when life hurts, when it's hard and miserable and broken, I think you have to embrace that, too. Press it tight against you and hold with all you've got until you push through to the other side where you can accept that the light is brighter because of the darkness around it. I think most of all I learned that I don't have to make my life meaningful--it's already full of significance--all I have to do is open my eyes.

How about you? What have you ultimately taken away from this book? Any parting words or wisdom? Also, would you be interested in doing something like this again? Any suggestions for books or other ideas you'd like to throw out there for conversation? I really enjoyed doing this and would be open to doing it again. Thanks for reading!


  1. Happy Monday from Georgia! I'm with you...Mondays are great...especially because on this Monday I discovered your blog and your great books via Mary Demuth's awesome!! I can't wait to buy your books (the paper kind...i LOVE to smell paper) and read them all! D.

  2. Hmmm, parting words? I loved the dialogue. And the stories that were shared. The things that I took away from it were pretty much as you said (and said well, by the way). I would also say that we can't just sit by and expect great things to happen - we have to make them happen!

    I would definitely love to do this again. If I think of a good book, I'll let you know.

  3. I would like to have parting words or wisdom, but it's 7am on not too much sleep last night (thank you little puppy, and thank you Mike for being in the villages and hence having to "parent" solo). I must admit to not having picked up the book in the last three weeks.

    I guess one of the things I've been thinking again about this last 24 hours (inspired less by Miller's book at the moment than by a TV show I watched last night (perhaps it had such a big impact because it's about one of only about ten I've watched in the last six months). Is that there is meaning to be found in adventure, but a deeper meaning to be found in service. And, paradoxically, a deeper meaning to be found in (as you were saying above) just being in the moment.

    Thanks for hosting this whole discussion - it's been awesome. I can't think of any other book as suitable right at this minute, but I will say I'm currently reading The Brain That Changes Itself and finding it fascinating if you're looking for a science read :). Hugs, lisa