Walking in Phoenix

The drying sun scalds
A tree of drooping red pods

The humming planes are low enough
To brush with jealous fingertips

Shrubbery sprawls over landscape
Like frazzled starfish

A name- Jason- engraved
In concrete not yet dry

A squeaking rope fastens
A willful flag to its pole

Windows of a lonely skyscraper
Glow pink in sleepy sunlight

Choruses of weary air conditioners
Ricochet between adobe houses

Breezes dance along baked concrete
And chase us inside

Celebration CELTA

Spicy chicken and Mexican coke tingled my tongue.

This was the last day, our last moments together. We had made it, all ten of us. Four weeks of labor, laughter, and tears were suspended in this memory: a memory that would never change by an updating database of other times together. Spain, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, China. We were going places and would never see each other again.

Ashley and I ducked out of the dim pub and into the scorched air of a summer afternoon in downtown Phoenix. I pulled my sunglasses out of my backpack as the misters under the awning created a sheen over our hair.

“It’s sad to think we won’t see each other again.”


When we reached the corner where she would walk one way to the parking garage and I would walk the other way to the metro, we hugged goodbye. There were so many things we could have said. Indeed, we said some of them, but nothing sounded as final as reality.

As I stood on the platform awaiting my train, I wondered, “Is this the end of an adventure or the beginning?”


My plan was to start a blog when I arrived on the field. That way, my family and friends could tune in to my exotic adventures as I trotted the globe. But what am I waiting for? Every day holds an adventure. Sometimes it’s the little things, like talking to an immigrant in their own language. Or sometimes it’s the big things like answering the unsettling question “What should I do with my life?”

What should I do with my life?
My family teases me about how often I ask that question. But is there only one best option? When I was 16, I knew that by 28, I would have the job I loved most in my heart of hearts. Looking back now, I smirk at my idealization of age. I’m 28 and the only clear direction I have is God’s call: “Glorify Me.”

“Glorify Me”
But how? Through the last years, I’ve been down many paths, always with the dream of settling down and being fulfilled… like most people seem to do by my age. But what if “Glorify Me” were not a precise career plan, but a heart attitude?

Heart attitude
What if our sense of fulfillment had everything to do with our heart attitude and little to do with our place in life? Wouldn’t we stop working so hard to make our surroundings perfect and learn how to praise no matter where we were? I’m rambling; if I had everything figured out, I wouldn’t feel so vulnerable and imperfect now.

Guess what! God calls the imperfect! Think about it. Did God wait until Abraham was perfect before He called him “to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance”? If he had, Abraham never would have gone out, “not knowing where he was going,” an act of great faith (Heb. 11:8). What about Rebekah? She was called to be the wife of Isaac, but was she perfect? Was David? Esther? The disciples? Paul? Know this: God will not wait until you are perfect to call you. If you’re a perfectionist like me, that sounds catastrophic. We have great plans, but only after we have whittled ourselves away to the pulp of our own perfection. However, the point is not that we be perfect, but that we become a work-in-progress, a living sacrifice.

Living sacrifice
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom. 12:1). This is our calling.