I might be in Atlanta. I’ve always pictured Atlanta being this humid.

We flew in last night, our plane acquiescing to the city lights like a tired fairy welcomed by a gaggle of grounded fireflies.

It could have been Winnipeg, or Toledo, or Minsk.

The smells weren’t right for any of those places, though. A rich fragrance hung in the air, waiting to envelope us. I say waiting because you can’t fully embrace a smell in that kind of darkness unless you’re blind and the sense of smell must make up for everything else you don’t have.

Orange county? No, the smoggy breath of pollution isn’t strong enough.

I think our fuddled heads found our pillows at 3am, local time. Right now I’m whacking away at these keys in the condo we rented. The curtains are still drawn, pulled snugly to their extremities last night to stymie gawkers and steal us a few extra minutes of sleep. Right now, though, they’re keeping our destination a mystery to me.

Okay, I’ll tell you. I’m… we’re… in Maui.

Though I wouldn’t know it. Couldn’t see a thing last night, tracing the route by playing to the video game of road reflectors on the slick black asphalt. And now, this morning, the fake flowers on the table in front of me, reminding me of my jetlag? Could be from anywhere, really.

But they’re not. They’re from Maui.

This is so exciting! Never been to Hawaii before. Maybe I could just sit here, relish that thought. Celebrate the fact that I’ve finally arrived. High five Shauna, still “hung over”  from the numbing day of travel but eager to bust outta this joint and explore the island she remembers from her childhood. Should I rip open the curtains to identify the arrogant bird I hear trumpeting some blather about being beautiful and in charge just outside my window?

It strikes me that so many Christians I know do exactly this—they accept Christ’s offer, then stay holed up in the condo of spiritual immaturity instead of exploring the kingdom, the realm God has opened up to those who truly follow. All they can talk about is the night they arrived and a few flighty details about a day of travel nobody actually likes if they’re honest. But what did they do this past week? Last night? Same old, same old. Even though a paradise is waiting.

In our case, paradise is waiting… to be explored in a sticker-shocked, new gold mustang convertible rental. Yup, Shauna couldn’t resist. Okay, I’m going nuts. Time to rip the blinds away.


It’s… it’s…