Monday, January 18, 2010
Recently I have fallen in love with a book called "A million miles in a thousand years." Donald Miller is absolutely one of my favorite writers. I remember the first time my friend tried to get me to read his book "Blue Like Jazz." I resisted at first probably because I hate reading. Yeah you heard me right I hate it. I struggled reading early on and sometimes it's a chore.
It is actually frustrating because I want to read. I make every attempt to be a reader. Actually I only allow myself to read books that are about God or of course the Bible. I made this decision because I said if I am going to struggle with this I will not waste time not reading things not related to my spiritual walk. It is funny how Donald Miller was God's way of making something I struggle with awesome.
Donald Miller is not afraid to say things that normal people would be afraid to say. His openness is incredible. I am sure it has gotten him into trouble a time or two. I am sure people treat him like they know him just because he is so open. But that is what makes him so incredible is that his openness allows us to see a true human. Not some writer trying to make every word perfect but one willing to show his weakness and speak about it. Most of his books seem to be documentaries of what is going on in his life right now. This book is no different he is talking about living his life like it is his story.
See after he wrote "Blue like Jazz," it blew up and then he got a big head. He actually says that in the book but when they wanted to make a move about the book he truly got humbled by all the ways they wanted to change it. And the problem with change a book that is all about your life is that you take it personal. I mean I would take it personal if someone did that to me. This goes to show us that we all get stuck in our world and sometimes forget to reflect on where we have come from or what we have done.
Meaning we all too often get sucked into whatever is going on right now and miss out on things or don't appreciate things enough. Now this is going to happen but it is nice to step back out of that and remember why we are here, who made us and why this life can be great.
With all that being said Miller has some great quotes in this book about life.
"I've wondered, though, if one of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don't want the responsibility inherent in the acknowledgment. We don't want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn't remarkable, then we don't have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims rather than grateful participants."
"If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation."
After both of these amazing quotes he goes on to talk about saving cats. Honestly I struggle with cats one time I picked up a cat who dug it's claws deep into back and that was enough to not appreciate them. My son likes them but I am not so fond of them. Anyway I tell you that just because cats are not the point. The point is all these quotes above and how we get to appreciate life and invest in life.
Miller explains that the beginning of Rocky is full of things like Rocky helping kids and widows and much more. When you make a movie you want the watchers to love the character that is the only way they care what will happen to them. Think about this in a more practical way. Whatever show or movie you love is probably because you connected with a character. Either you appreciate the characteristics they have or find some way you relate with that character. The easiest way for this to happen is by doing nice things. More specifically living your life as a Christian and caring for people.
You probably dislike shows with people that just do mean stuff or are completely selfish. It truly is the whole problem with movie stars. We see them in a movie and think they are great and then we hear about their real life and we are shocked they are so selfish. Miller's point about saving cats is that we invest in people who do nice things in life. The reason you care about some dude like Rocky beating up a bunch of other dudes is you have invested in his character.
Life is not much different we invest in people's stories we care about. Yet all too often we become selfish and forget about saving cats. We forget about caring for people because we get wrapped up in our own stuff. So if we invest in stories of people who take care of other people why don't we save cats? Why don't we spend our lives serving and helping others? It is obvious as people we appreciate others who do it but what causes us to not do it?
I don't have answers and yet I do. Sin side tracks us and we are selfish but it would seem to me that after awhile we would reflect on our selfishness and pull of out it. So my new year was started off with less pity pour me(s) and more saving cats. Because maybe if I do less pity pour me(s)...maybe just maybe I will see more cats.