A while back, my friend invited me to go hiking with her. I agreed…and came back with bruises, aching muscles, and dirty clothes. Did I regret the hike experience? NO! I loved it. Well, to be honest, I was not feeling that way on the way up. The ground was muddy and slippery for it had rained the previous night so I might have slipped a few times. There were moments, during the climb, when I felt like heading back down. During those moments, heading back down looked like a very attractive notion because it looked easier, though my companions kept telling me “hapit na” meaning “(we are) almost there.” I remember at one time I told them not to tell me that because I did not want to be disappointed when we kept walking and had not yet reached the peak, for I knew that their definition of ‘close’ and ‘almost there’ was very different from mine. For them, they were taking each step and climb up not only as a challenge, but also as an exercise to be savored, enjoying air – clean air away from the polluted everyday air – the beautiful scenery, as well as the company. These elements did not go completely unnoticed by me. However, I was concentrating more on how tired I was and wondering if the water I had brought was going to be enough to last me the whole time there.
This experience had me thinking about the journeys that each and every one of us embarks on every day of our lives. In the context of my service in the Global Mission Fellows program, this is my hike and every day I am getting to live in each moment and appreciate everything with which I am presented. I have several months until my service ends, however, there are other Fellows who have just arrived at their placement sites. Anyone with a job or in school, the best advice I can give is to be fully present, taking note of the things and issues going on in society. As the GMF core values go: engage, connect, grow. Just like the hike, it might seem like a difficult and impossible task, but one learns to trust in God and believe that no matter what, the peak is going to be reached.
Some time has passed since the hiking trip, the bruises have since faded, I had a good time with my dear friends, burnt some calories, and I still have great pictures from that day!
”Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits (EcoWEB)
GMF International, Class of 2015-2017