My Third Time at Peak 2
by Oliver Carlos
So far, as of this writing, I have climbed Mt. Makiling a total of 3 times. The most special one is the third one. I was a teen during my first two hikes to Peak 2, but on the 3rd climb, I was with my teen son.
It was Holy Thursday of 2014. My officemates organized the hike, Jethro and I just hopped in. This climb was a dream-come-true for me. When I was still single, I wished that one day when I have my own family, I would still be strong enough to climb Peak 2 together with my child. Now here we are, fulfilling that dream.
In the prior school year, Jethro had just completed his stellar rookie UAAP season playing for the UST Juniors Football Team. I thought he was old enough and his body was strong enough to do the 7-hour nature trip.
Over-all, it’s a great experience. I got to share to my son something that I loved doing when I was his age. I enjoyed showing him the trees, the Mud Springs, the little plants along the way. I was enthusiastic to tell stories about the Legend of Maria Makiling, talk to him about monkeys, wildcats, deer, birds, and my father’s work as an administrator of the said forest reserve. Jethro’s grandpa was a retired UPLB employee. I had fun seeing Jethro experience the whiff of clouds landing on his face. It was a great pleasure for me helping him out and encouraging him to go thru the difficult phase of the hike, the last half-kilometer assault to the peak that involved climbing the famous 90-degree stonewall.
But for Jethro, he said the most difficult part was going down from the peak thru that dreaded extremely steep trail. He felt afraid in that part of the descent. As a father and as somebody who has done that before, I calmly guided him thru. I pointed out every step he needed to take, which protruding root or rock he must step on. And finally, after several minutes, we were done with horror trail. The rest of the way was cruise time.
Reflecting on this experience, I can now imagine how my Heavenly Father feels as he guides me thru my life. It’s his great delight to accompany me and talk to me every minute of the journey. He must feel very proud too when I can cross creeks and climb steep slopes on my own at his instruction. He would also be very glad to carry me on his back when I feel I cannot go on anymore because of fatigue or fear. Above all, his greatest joy would be seeing me TRUST him as he brings me safely to an unfamiliar or unknown destination. That’s my Heavenly Father.
We can always trust God in whatever situation we are in, because he has been there before. God is eternal. He has been existing in eternity past, and he has also been to eternity future. If you are afraid of tomorrow, or afraid of its uncertainty, you can entrust your feelings and future to God.
In Joshua 3:3–5 (NIV), on the eve of conquering the Promised Land, Joshua told the Israelites the importance of staying close to the presence of God. He said in verse 4:
“Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.”
Furthermore, he added in verse 5:
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
If today is December 31, 2021, and you are afraid of what might happen on January 1, 2022 and beyond, fear not! God has already been to everyday of 2021, and he has overcome them all. Nobody has been to the future yet, except God. Thus, we can trust him. Just like a veteran mountaineer who has been to Peak 2 multiple times, he is saying to you, “My child, just follow me, don’t be afraid of what lies ahead. I’ve been there before, there’s nothing to fear, it’s safe out there, believe me, just let me guide you.”
Yes indeed, the future is a safe place if we make God our constant companion and guide.