“The story made us different characters than we would have been if we had skipped the story and showed up at the ending an easier way.” -Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)
I bought the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” when it came out years ago, I think because of it being talked about on the Relevant podcast. I guess it sounded interesting to think about if your life was exciting enough to write a movie based on it. I had never read “Blue Like Jazz” but had heard a lot of people excited about it years before and figured I should read one of Don Miller’s books. I bought the book, along with a few other spiritual books, from Amazon, completely intending on reading all of them, and maybe made it partway into one of the other books. The Internet has made me bad at reading books.
Fast forward about 5 years, and I am in a difficult place in my life. After my first boyfriend had broken up with me (I was 31 when I went on my first date ever), I was depressed for months. At first I was heartbroken about losing him. Then it turned into a much larger sorrow of being single at 32 when I had hoped to have been married years ago and had a couple kids at this point. Facebook posts became painful to look at as I felt left behind. Everyone else my age seems to have what I want. I’m 33 now and still single and wondering what God is doing with my story. Why does my story look so different? Why did so many of my friends find the love of their life in college while I am still looking 15 years later? My life lately feels like a story where no one would bother to read the next chapter. There’s no cliff hanger. No big plot development on the horizon that we can see. I struggle to trust that God is writing my story, let alone that He’s writing a good story.
We started a sermon series at my church called “Storyline” and my pastor mentioned the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.” Since I’ve felt so dissatisfied with my story of late, I decided to pick up the book and start reading it. A few quotes so far have really hit me hard. One mused about how God is trying to write our stories, but we often try to write our own, different stories. I hope I can learn to trust God with my story. Sometimes it doesn’t look like a very good story.
The second passage, which I quoted above, recounts how a group hiked four days at high elevations with little air to breath to get to Machu Picchu, when you could take a bus. The people who had such a difficult time getting there had a different experience when they reached the city. “The pain had made the city more beautiful.”
If I had my way, I’d have taken the bus and reached a different point in my life by now. Instead, I feel like I’m still walking up a mountain, where the air is so thin I can barely breath, just hoping that eventually there is a beautiful relationship for me. I hope one day I find it and that the pain has made it more beautiful.