Sep 18, 2009

I (will) 've Been Everywhere


I'm on a 65- city tour with author Don Miller. I never got to do a national theater tour, and now I feel like I'm getting to do that. What's more, Larry is with us for the first two weeks of the tour.

Speaking of touring tour, we opened in Canada (like opening out of town in New Haven), to a terrific audience in Vancouver, then on to Victoria, and last night in Gig Harbor Washington. We are still working out some lighting cues (Thanks a lot Brent, next time stay awake during tech).

We've got a great team: our manager Jim Chaffee, who you can see don't take shizzle from no one. Brent Gibbs, who's been driver, tech guy, roadie and alarm clock. And we've also got the lovely Melody Wilson from World Vision on the tour with us.

A few nights ago, we got to stay with Barbara and Dave Pine in their house in Gig Harbor. We stayed up listening to stories far bigger than ours: like this woman Barb knows who escaped Rwanda, but not before seeing her husband and several of her children murdered in front of her. Now she's in Arizona, working hard to raise the money to get the rest of her kids out of Rwanda and to the US. These are the kinds of things that make me realize: yeah, my problems are pretty silly in comparison. Which is kind of what I learned while I wrote my book, but it brought it home hearing this woman's story.

It's also what Don's new book, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, is all about: The elements that make a great novel or a great movie, are the same elements that make a big life: A main character with a big vision, sets about accomplishing that goal and has hardship and conflict the whole way. And if your dream is to own a Volvo, you're not living a big story. God wants to give you a big story to live and to tell.

The church preaches that if God loves you and you are doing his will, your life will go well. God wants us to be "favor minded," or if you learn these keys or this prayer, God will expand your life and you'll be living your best life. Now. I wonder how to tell that to the woman who watched her family slaughtered in front of her. Don't get me wrong: God is not a masochist. I think he does want to bless us. but he also wants to give us a life that's worth living.

It really upsets me that churches preach this idea that God wants to bless you and make your life go well. Which either the church conveys the idea, or we interpret that as, God loves me = success money power love, BMWs and iPhones. There's a preacher on TV who attracts as many people on a Sunday as you'll see God has given you a big dream or a big story, God has given us each a big story to live and tell. Not a small story like owning a Volvo. And big stories mean conflict and hardship. Think of Frodo or William Wilberforce or Amelia Earhart or the Rwandan woman who's getting her kids back, one at a time.

The Million Miles tour is going all over the country, we'll be stopping at 65 cities. I hope one is near you and that you can come see us.

Check out our Tour Dates at
Check Don's blog,
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dubdynomite said...

So, can we expect a video of you guys singing that Johnny Cash classic pretty soon?

You make a great point about the story of our lives. Our lives are a story of our faith. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. The Bible teaches us that our faith will be tried (by fire, even).

It's hard to align that with the God wants to bless me and make me happy theology.

Paul Burgess said...

Keep posting Susan.

I haven't much of north American but loved Vancouver. The world's only 20th century city.

The Renegade Librarian said...

Great post! I must admit, that prosperity theology crap has been on my mind lately and it really, REALLY rankles me! Not that I'll get all cranky here!

Keep up the good work!

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