Last Sunday's activity was soooo strenuouououous physically, mentally and - come to think of it - emotionally. Fear is nothing when you know you are "prepared," but how prepared can one be?

Coming from the graveyard shift (10pm-6am), I went straight to the whole-day BMC training. I haven't had enough rest and sleep to back me up. Ms. Mental here was telling herself "If I've done it in the Enduro, I can do it again this time..." Wrong move.

After the 8K run (which I did at a snail's pace of 1:02:something...), the ramps exercise (stairclimbing with a loaded backpack) was cancelled to allow more time for our ultimate challenge for the day: rappelling. I've tried standard rappelling in PowerUp Pasig ("just for fun" in preparation for the Enduro, and at the Enduro's 120 ft. tower (no choice, my teammates made me do it... for "fun"). So, Ms. Mental, do you think those two instances were "enough" to take the fear away? No ma'am, NO-O-O.

We were given a lecture on rappelling equipment (harnesses, ropes, carabiners, et.al...) and some pointers. Good thing our resource person from Makati Rescue, Mr. E.E., was magnanimous enough to allow us to process some 'trail food' in our mouths while our minds were processing his lecture. Noticing that my monicker, Ancore, is homonymous with "anchor" which, as I "processed" the lecture, should be a Big Friendly Tree (BFR) deeply rooted to a safe ground, the spiritual me silently pondered: Does God want me to be a BFR for my friends? That's going to be tough!

Prayer is a powerful tool. And it was the nagging thought in my heart and mind all throughout the challenging session. There was guilt in my part, knowing He wasn't really pleased with how I was spending my time and I wasn't entirely being loyal to Him. I failed to stand up for Him when I should have, by asking my batchmates to spend some time with me in prayer. If I died that day (yes, that was how I felt when the blood rushed up-down to my head and my ears went numb) and met Him face-to-face perhaps He would have told me, "You failed the test, My child."

Part of my objective in signing up for the BMC was time management. And with that it means not having to "give up" my dates with Him just so I could rest my weary limbs. No. It should be spending my time MORE wisely so that nothing would have to "suffer." I must be able to discipline myself to grow, not to wane, spiritually. I must be able to bring others closer to Him, not draw them further away or just be indifferent.

He's been providing my needs, sending me friends to help me out. And I think one more thing that I would have to convict myself with over and over and over again is to fully TRUST Him and His wisdom.

He gave me a lashing because He was jealous. I was directing my trust in the wrong direction, been focusing on something that was entirely inferior to Him. I was passionate about something that was only second-rate to what He IS. While rappelling, I was asking for help, asking for directions when all that I should have done was to ask for His help to let me do it the right way. So, I had a good beating. A real good, to-the-core, lashing. And my oh my, oh my momma, the tears just kept on flowin...

Another eye-opener was: you can't be effectively mental when you don't have enough rest and sleep. (Haven't I learned this before?) Mind over matter won't really work when you know your equipment -- your own body -- is not fully tuned up. When you don't have enough mind power, you won't be able to "muster the courage" enough to do something frighteningly new like doing the lizard rappel 5 floors down inside a worn-out building, no medics around, no trampoline to catch you when you fall, and no concrete knowledge on who your belayer is going to be! I didn't know what hyperventilation actually was -- not after doing the lizard! Sir Jay helped me regulate my breathing afterwards and I couldn't have been more thankful to him and everyone else who was there. Mm-hmm.

It was already dark when I finished the last task, the fly rappel. It is not good to be, to work, (and even play) in the dark. But sometimes, when you have no choice but to do it, you will know that you can get through it if your headlamp's batteries are fully charged. And what better way to recharge those batteries or, have your equipment in tip-top shape, than being tied to the all-time-all-weather-BFR: GOD ALMIGHTY, with a pull tension on the system of your prayer line!

13May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. 1 Thessalonians 3:13

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