Adventure & Endurance (and the Fear that Holds Us Back)

Fear can hold us back from many things and cause us to miss out on many adventures that life has to offer if we let it.

Fear of looking stupid in front of others. Fear of failure. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of rejection. Fear of the unknown.

I’m sure there’s lots more you can add to the list. We each have a running list of fears even though we may not be aware of it. It can take a while to begin identifying when fear is our motivator, and then we can be sure that if it’s fear that’s motivating us, then it’s not from God.

His perfect love casts out all fear. (I John 4:18)

What a truth!

Anyways, as we realize more and more what motivates us we are better able to discern if we’re making decisions based on fear or on faith, and this propels us forward into a whole new realm of life and freedom.

I recently had the opportunity to go hiking in the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines. If you ever have the chance, GO. The views are breathtaking and the people are warm and welcoming.

There was a part of me that was completely content to sit on the back patio of the inn I was staying at and sip coffee while taking in the magnificent view before me the entire 3 days we were there. And I did for a portion of it. 🙂

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That sort of thing brings life and comfort to my soul on such a deep level. Mountains and coffee and Jesus make for a great combination for feeding my soul and connecting me with my Maker.

After taking an overnight bus from Manila to Banaue my friends and I were pretty wiped out by the time we arrived in the morning. After breakfast the three of did our own thing for a while. One went and napped and the other one had some alone time while I sat on the back porch overlooking the terraces.

That afternoon we got a guide and hiked for about 4 hours around the area where we were staying. I couldn’t get over the views! We hiked up and down and through the terraces, passing homes and people on the way. We walked along the edge of the terraces, being careful of every step so as not to fall to our death.

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The hike wasn’t an intense hike except for the stairs. You see there are a number of stairs that have been made throughout the mountains and terraces over the years, and they are all unique sizes. There’s not a standard for them, but most of them are very steep. I’d say about twice the height of average stairs.

As we descended the stairs to begin our afternoon hike I almost immediately noticed pain in my left knee. Not exactly the way you want to start out a hike. Thankfully our guide had provided us with walking sticks that helped to ease a bit of the impact.

Overall, I was fine on the hike. Soaking up the views, taking hundreds of pictures (literally) and laughing a lot along the way.

The one drawback was when we’d hit those dang stairs! It was so frustrating for me. I’d never experienced this before and by the time we reached the end of our trek by descending what seemed like thousands of stairs my knee was done.

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I didn’t let it worry me too much. We didn’t have any official plans for the next day so we just showered and enjoyed dinner together and slept very soundly that night.

The next morning one of my friends woke us up immediately asking if we wanted to go on a 7 hr hike with a group of people at the inn, leaving in about 30 minutes. Since she had woken me up out of such a hard sleep I felt like I couldn’t make a decision. About 10 minutes later I was getting ready for an all day hike.

I was really uncertain though and asked a lot of questions about the intensity of the hike. The same guide we’d had the day before was guiding this hike, and he wasn’t too optimistic about me going. Even Beatriz, our Filipino mama/owner of the inn, tried to talk me out of it and suggested several different things for me to do that day.

The fact that almost everyone was trying to talk me out of it didn’t really boost my confidence level, I’m not gonna lie. One of our new friends from the inn encouraged me to just come and that little boost of confidence got me on the jeepney and heading into the mountains.

I’ve never been more unprepared for a hike – clothing or food wise. When I packed for my trip to the Philippines I didn’t know I’d be going to the mountains. Thank the Lord I at least packed my Chacos…

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