Mountain Top Experience

I started mountaineering when I was in my 3rd year at UST during 2003. I can say that it was “love at first climb”. Since then, I’ve climb several mountains on an average of once a year. The latest was last week when I climbed the highest mountain in Luzon, Mt. Pulag.

It was my 2nd time climbing Mt. Pulag. Like every mountain climb, it was a whole new different experience – different set of people I climbed with, different trail and route, and not forgetting the unpredictable weather we always experience in every mountain.

Mountaineering is an exciting and adventurous hobby but also a challenging one. Every climb, there should be at least 1-2 months preparation on the logistics, mountain gears and other stuff, and most importantly, on one’s physical fitness. During the climb itself, you are literally being pushed to your limit. As you go reaching the top of the mountain, everything becomes heavier as the trail ahead seems never-ending. However, at the end of the day, you will forget all the hardship and sacrifice you’ve gone thru when you finally reach the top.

The reasons why I love this hobby are the challenge, adventure, and the front row seat to nature’s beauty it offers. But most of all, it is where I always feel God in a special and intimate way. Climbing a mountain is somehow similar to my life lately. As most of you know, just last January, I had one of my biggest setbacks and most painful heartbreak ever. I knew I was smoothly climbing my mountain with ease and confidence, but suddenly, the next thing I knew was that I stumbled and fell hard. Yes, the Lord helped me get back to my feet but after that fall, it wasn’t that easy continuing the climb anymore. Every step became really painful and hard. Everything ahead, especially the top, became blurry and distant. It was indeed a period in my life that I became unsure, as if nothing made sense. However, through all the pain and hardships I’ve gone through, God did not leave me. He cried and struggled with me during that most difficult part of the trail. And now, as I stand here in front of you guys, I just want to share not only my mountaineering hobby but also my first hand experience of God’s amazing and exceeding grace. Without Him, I would have not been able to make it here on top. Indeed, everything you do for the Lord is not in vain. All the bad things you had in the past, all the heartbreaks and sacrifices are all worth it. Everything makes sense when you see things in His perspective. And as we all conquer a particular mountain in our lives, the not so good news is there will always be another mountain to climb, but the good news is that God will always be there on all our climbs.

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