Look Up!

“The trail is rocky and winding. Pay attention to where you put your feet. You will need to take leaps of faith at some points but remember to also look up.” said our guide who took us on the trail to Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Philippines.

The trek started off with a well cemented path. My friends and I were thrilled to see what is at the end of our journey – Kawasan Falls.

As we progressed in the journey, we arrived at the riverbank leading us to the waterfall. We were surrounded by tall, rocky cliffs. Trees rooted in the crevices of the rocks sheltered us from the scorching sun.  

The path was rocky and slippery. We traversed slowly, in single file, through the river and cliff overhangs. All of us were looking at the position of our feet and the steps we took. Any missteps would mean a sprained ankle or a fall before we reached the falls.

We paid close attention to the steps we took. My friends ahead shouted out any spots to look out for. We looked constantly at the path. We made sure we stepped in the right places. We focused on taking the next steps.

About 30 minutes into the journey, we arrived at a cliff. The only way to pass was to jump into the water beneath it. “Now, take your leaps of faith”, said our guide. Then, in the blink of an eye, he jumped into the water and waited for us to jump.

Standing 5 meters above the water, adrenaline rushed through my veins. My heart palpitated. My mind filled with many unknowns. “How deep is the water?”, “Will I hit a rock at the bottom?”

I took a deep breath. I summoned my courage. A voice in me told me it’s part of the journey. I closed my eyes and took the plunge. I came to the surface of the water and shouted in joy, relieved that I was okay! We then swam along the overhanging cliff to get to other side of the trail.

As we swam, we heard the guide say to us: Look up!

The rough edges of the cliff were starkly juxtaposed with the clear blue sky. The canopies of the trees decorated the sky. Sunrays cut through the leaves as we basked in the sunlight. The view was simply stunning. It dissipated the fears and doubts I had in taking on this journey.

After 7 or 8 more cliff jumps – with the highest at 12 meters in height! – and 3 hours later, we arrived at Kawasan Falls. We rested by the waterfall, taking in the stunning view of the waterfall.

Looking back, as I rediscover Him every day, I find my spiritual journey very similar to my time in Cebu.

There were moments in the last several months, when I was consumed by fear and anxiety: from work stresses to the worries of the economy reopening, and the safety of my family. My mind and heart were often burdened by anxiety and questions about life and the future.

Every day, I would wake up and try to do everything perfectly; keep watch of my steps, over-think and over-analyze every situation and every conversation I’d had in the day. With the hope that my analysis would gain me some sense of control and security. These thoughts weighed me down with anxiety and fear of failure. I was burned out, exhausted. I would be lying if I said the thought of giving up never occurred to me.

In my one of my meditations, I was reminded to not let my circumstances consume me but to look up to God.  

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

My mind and heart are at peace. I’m reassured that God has prepared this journey for me, and that the rocky trail and leaps of faith are a part of this journey. Instead of wishfully praying away my problems, worries or anxieties, I feel invited to bring it all to Him, to acknowledge that He is sovereign in these circumstances; that He is with us on the journey; and to set my eyes on Him.

Look up to Him and let His light and glory shine through in our lives.

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