Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘endurance’

Breathing Adventure: Achieving High Walls at Climb Central

 

We always itch for adventure but the rains always quell our thirst for the heights. Adventure, however, is not limited to the outskirts of the city. Sometimes, they can be found lurking within the city walls.

Rock climbing is one activity I’ve been planning to do for a long time. There are plenty of rock climbing centers in Manila but it’s in Climb Central where I have had my first taste of this indoor adventure.

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Located at The Portal in Greenfield, the Climb Central is an easy access along EDSA and MRT’s Shaw Avenue station (and a good place to kill time while waiting for rush hour’s traffic and long, boring queues to subside). This adventure center is recommendable to beginners like my friends and me. But if you think rock climbing is easier than mountain hiking, think again.

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Once register, you have this tag. Always bring this when going there. 🙂

This venue gives everybody a chance to unleash their climbing power. Huge and quite spacious, everybody had the chance to get a climb to the top. There is a regular section, a children’s section, and a section for professional climbers (you need to get a certificate to try that one).

Adult registration is only Php600 (this includes a one-time registration fee and equipment). Don’t forget to bring any valid ID when you register, more preferably a government ID since it’s your lifetime registration. They would give you a short briefing on how to belay with a friend and how to climb alone. After that, you’re free to go.

 

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Almost reaching the top!

 

And there’s so turning back.

When we thought our hikes already had steep trails, these 8 to 12-meter walls are 90 to 110 degrees steeper. Each section has its own challenge, ranging from huge close rocks to small, separate stepping stones. Some of them are even tricky, causing me to deliberate how to take the next step higher (yes, this activity includes a lot of thinking).

Those who were already used to the activity would challenge themselves further. The stones are color-coded and

 

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Another achievement. 🙂

 

they would step or climb on one particular color only. That I could not achieve for now as I struggled halfway the wall with my then-numb fingers.

I realize this activity needs the strengthening of the arms, wrist, and the fingers for gripping rather than focusing power on the legs for support. After a few climbs, my arms felt weak and they were trembling. Even though we had rested for about 30 minutes or so, I felt my hands couldn’t grip well anymore.

 

I did not get a chance to finish most walls because my fingers were not too powerful to grip anything (and even combing was a struggle then). For the rest of the day, I’ve had cramps and spasms. But I realized I’ve conquered new heights and gained a new experience. Since I got a lifetime registration, this is not the end of the feat. Rather, I need to practice more. Besides, this is a new skill that I might use when going on hikes. More push ups, then? Yes, I need to begin that soon…hopefully.

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Experiencing adventure won’t be complete without friends like Lans, Tina, and Larry. 🙂

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Midnight Dilemma

The bell has been rung for the fourtieth time

Not a noise or breath had moved behind the curtains

Even a spirit did not bother to see through the unclean glass windows

To see this poor vagabond waiting for attention
I feel like a jilted lover

Ready to croon a tired, broken song

Enduring the suspicious stares 

Of a weary neighbor and his blunt dog

My trustworthy travel bag

Was burdening upon my shoulder

Just like these heavy eyelids

Darkening in the low-lit streets
I’ve been counting the minutes

I cannot wait for the morning

Have mercy on this traveler

Who had toiled for a well-deserved rest
A click and a clang 

Mercy has heard my plea!

That poker face through the door 

Sent my heart skipping with glee

This home away from home

Has welcomed me again

With you, I will sleep in peace

And take my refuge in your walls again

Reclaiming Destinies and Breaking the Waves

Twelve months. Twelve fruits. Twelve opportunities to undone me, mold me, and bring me closer to my real identity and destiny.

My 2012 was a year of shaking. The Lord was teaching me out of my stubborn self — to die from selfishness and to abide in Him fully. When my prophetic friend asked me what was the Lord’s promise for the past nine months, I was dumbfounded. All I could remember was the anguish and pain during those times. The emotional battles against the law and the lawmakers, the prayerful times shifted to complaints and mourning, my beauty nearly turning into ashes, my hope almost brought down to the cliff as I contemplated on resignation. I wanted to get out and give up. Yet, the Lord, who had other things in mind, held my sleeve as I let go of my grip. He had a promise, I’m sure He had — yet my ears were covered and my eyes blindfolded.

Yet, I faced 2013 with hope and expectation.

I still couldn’t remember what He was trying to say (and I haven’t even checked my old journal).  Yet, I clung on one word given to me almost two years ago: Romans 5:5, “…and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our heats through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

As I contemplating this verse a few months ago, the Lord led me to turn to verses 3 and 4. I never have this hope until: we rejoice in our sufferings, that it leads to perseverance (verse 3) and from perseverance, character, which leads into hope (verse 4)! I believe such is the word for me for this season. And such is the shaking I received.

Through these shakings, I realized a few more things at the beginning of this year, even though the nine months has been ended. Despite character flaws, I’m taught how to react in grace and love and confront with wisdom during dire situations. From my silent struggle against insecurities, I’m taught to reclaim the authority vested upon me as a co-heir in Christ. The most striking lesson that I’ve realized and am still learning (though it was said to me a number of times) is to worship him despite of the fire and testing that I pass through.

My friend told me that the shaking I’ve received (and will receive) are just part of His refinement. This is the time that I have to open my eyes and ears and recognize the Lord in ways I’m not used to. I don’t know what would that be. All I have to do is to ask Him. And see Him move in ways I won’t expect. I just need to open my eyes and my ears to recognize what He’s doing.

There are three kinds of people in the midst of struggles: one who gives up, one who shrugs his shoulder and get into that routinary “survival mode”, and one who wants to learn out of that struggle. The third one is the kind that grows. At this season, the nine month conception should be over. So, what I’ve experienced were just birth pangs. The full birth of one’s destiny is after the nine month period. But if not, that means I haven’t learned my lesson.

I just realized I’m just at the beginning of what He’s teaching me.

Get out of the boat and walk on water, he said. Goodness, that quite scared me. But should I be scared when I’m with the Silencer of the Waves? It’s a step towards acceleration. I need to get out of the box. And I need to ask the Lord ways on how to do that.

To ask the Lord on a daily basis is a way to die to myself. It will keep me from storing up pride as He breaks me with His tender love and awesome glory.

Then my friend gave me the a word that this year is the year of bearing fruit. Seeing in a vision a clock with twelve hours, it indicated that in every month I will bear fruit. But in order to bear fruit, I must learn a lesson. I must ask what the Lord is teaching me at this point of time. When the pruning and honing is over, a fruit will grow…but not only in one month. That means, I will undergo even more fire and testing twelve times!

I need to ask. I need to see. I need to know. Such are the things that I must learn. But most of all, I need to seek the Lord more. Only in Him I will find the answers I need. For He knows the plans for me. And I am claiming His perfect will and His best for my life.

I’m almost 28 years old. But this is not the end of my dreams. Who says life ends at 30? I believe I’m still a little child being disciplined and taught by the Great Father. Why should I copy to the normal trend of human life? The Lord has plans that are way out of my normal blueprint. All I have to do is just step out, walk on the waves, and hold the hand of the One who called my name. What are twelve months of pruning when I got One Great Dad to back me up! 🙂

The Wiles of the Heart

I was so disappointed with a person I liked. He never considered my considerations. I blamed him for wasting my emotions over his sweet nothings. But there was no agreement, there was nothing really between us. They were all assumptions; I hated myself for almost falling for him. But a friend reminded me: what’s my purpose for wanting to see him? I need to check my heart.

I realized I was selfishly wanting to feed my earthly desire. It was turning out to be a fatal attraction. I did not realize, my Father was protecting me.

I was reminded by my spiritual mother that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). The world tells us to follow our hearts, but the Father tells us to follow His heart and His ways. The heart is so deceitful, for it is in our humanistic nature to be born with twisted desires (Matthew 15:18-19). Yet our own passions are so different from His desires for us. And yet His dreams for all of us are for our best, and our most of our passions and our dreams lead to the second best — or nothing at all.

I remembered how imperfect I am. Though I move with His Spirit, there are still so many issues of the heart that need to be addressed. With this, I have to die to myself again.

When I decided to surrender my emotions, I felt that a dark veil was removed from my eyes. My perspective changed. My heart renewed. I believe a part of His heart was poured into mine.

He made me see that my destiny is not as this world planned for me. This world just wanted me to take all, without asking the Father about it. It’s like being a rebel in a free world. But He reminded me that His plans for me are above that I dreams for myself. He loves surprises, I know. And I wondered how His dreams for me will be in His time. He’s teaching me to wait and to abide in Him as I do. When I do, there’s an ever greater blessing…and a big, pleasant surprise for me.

But in waiting, there’s pain. Pain because I’m tempted to be impatient. Pain because my flesh is battling with my renewed spirit.

And so I received revelation what my prayer means: Romans 5:3-5…”let me rejoice in my sufferings, so that it would produce in my endurance, then character, and then hope that will never put me to shame because of the love of the Father that has been poured into my heart through the Holy Spirit.” Such is the given Word for this season since last year.

To rejoice in my sufferings, I have to worship. There is real joy when I delight in the presence of my God. When His presence envelops me, these sufferings are nothing compared to His peace and steadfast love.

I remembered that it is a mandate, and a destiny, to bring His love and His kingdom down into this earth when I earnestly seek Him and call out to Him. In abundance, in trials and pain, His love and glory is above all…and we should rejoice in this truth.

So, what was I disappointed on? Oh, I almost forgot. The joy of leaning on His bosom and hearing His heartbeat filled with love just washed away the pain I had.

Quiet Hopes and Silent Prayers

This little piece of paper has been on my wall for almost two years. Seeing the names of my friends  and family members I long to be in the Lord made me guilty as I have not been praying much for them these months – or for almost a year. I could still remember how I laid my hands on their names every night with great expectation and hope they would come to the Lord. Now, as their names were gaining house dust, I am still hoping that there would be changes in their lives.

I know how a lot of us expect too much when we pray. On the onset that we don’t get answers as quickly as we want, we have the tendency to give up. It’s because we don’t see with the eyes of faith. But what we don’t know, something is happening in the spiritual realm.

The Bible has been very clear that our battle is not in the flesh but with spiritual forces (Eph. 6:12). We are usually deceived by what we see. Actually, everything that happens in the physical is just a manifestation of the spiritual world. One way is through our words – there is power in them. Even a mere joke can become real. When we cling to what we see and loose faith on what we are hoping for, chances are, we won’t get what we’re praying for.

But I believe the time will come that everything that we have been praying for a long time will be done so suddenly, we won’t believe it’s happening. When revival comes in, things will be so fast that the salvation of multitudes will be so great. The people we have been praying for will come before the Lord altogether. But it will happen if we continuously and earnestly seek the Lord. But we can only do that if we have deep, deep passion and hunger for Jesus to return and reign on this earth.

I’m one of those groaning to see revival. I remember talking to a friend yesterday how we’ve been waiting to see the hand of the Lord move in such a way that everything we know will change. I’m tired of the architype church and society we’ve been raised to. I want a realy Holy Spirit movement and awakening. I’m tired of the hypocrisy we generate saying that by good works we win souls, but it’s only by the Spirit of the Lord deliverance and salvation be done. I’m tired of the restrictions we give to the Lord’s Spirit by setting a program based on human knowledge. When the Lord comes, He has ways we don’t agree and that will surely offend many. What we’ve been praying for in days, weeks, or years will suddenly come and happen – for I believe that this year will be a year of SUDDENLY.

Can’t for the Lord to come back, shake everything until He remains. I believe we’re nearing that season. Right now, we are at its “birth pangs”. For now the Lord has one word: WAIT.

We’ll keep on waiting while praying and worshipping. Just like the apostles in the beginning of Acts, they did not move and spread out until God’s appointed time. May we be granted patience and endurance as we press on by waiting for His move. May we learn how to trust in Him fully as we continuously seek Him with all our hearts.

When the time comes, I hope I’ll never be surprised when all the names in my paper turn to the Lord. Let His perfect will be done…

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