- JADE RANCE ACIDRE
I’ve been active in extreme outdoor activities lately and a lot of people, friends, relatives, business colleagues are asking why I do what I do. Some of them even asked why I torture myself and engage myself in such risky sports and drag my family along in such activities. The answer to these questions can take me all day but here’s a brief answer so you would understand where I am coming from.
Yes it is common knowledge that there are risks involved when you venture in the extreme outdoors. Yes it brings you closer to nature but it requires considerable amount of planning, preparation and hard work to survive it and to come back alive. As for me and my family, mountain climbing gives us pleasure equal to true peace and joy by seeing the beauty of God’s creation where only a few can venture into. It keeps us grounded and aware of our true nature as human beings. In the mountain we get to see the world in a different perspective. It’s like being in a different dimension or being in an NBA game in a VIP room where you have a better view of everybody. You have the wide perspective of the hard court, the players, the audience, the production people and everything else in between. Hiking to the top of the mountain, the view is breathtakingly amazing and most of the time picturesque. When I look down, I think of how privilege we are to get the best spot to view different human activities down below. It’s unbelievable how we’ve come these far with all the technological wonders that we’ve created. Then I think of how amazing God’s work is and how He made it easy for our family and friends to live a contented life having accepted the joy of submission to God’s will but not to the point of complacency but to strive smarter with maximum efficiency in every aspect of our lives.
My true wealth is the love of God and the love of my family and friends. Our wealth is surprisingly not just limited to financial wealth, in fact, that is our most limited resource but we thank God for the provisions to get by day by day. What we do have in abundance is great health and an awesome family and friends who never failed to understand and love me for what and who I am. I intentionally wanted to bring them in the outdoors with me, so they can see what I see, appreciate all that there is, to share with them that life is not just about the 4 corners of their office or classrooms and that home is wherever you’re family is…even at the mountain top.
When my wife and I started bringing our kids in the outdoors and committed them to expected but manageable harsh environments and the hard work involved to reach the summit of every mountain, I realized that their daily task and responsibilities as students and as member of the household became easier for them. We were able to imbed in their young minds that if you can patiently climb to the top of the mountain without any issues at all, there is no reason why they should complain with their day to day tasks in school and at home. Another realization is that they became highly ambitious in life. They aspire for bigger dreams and analyze ways on how they’re going to achieve those goals. For them it seems easier than walking 18 to 50 kilometers uphill in rough trails and back. This is exactly what we intend to accomplish for them aside from having quality time together as a family. The outdoors teaches them to become a team player, dependable and reliable at all times. Every expedition also gives them an opportunity to see different places of interest and an opportunity to interact with the locals of the community so they may understand their ways and culture. We teach them to never stop until they reach the top. To rethink their strategies when they fail and to go back up again in times of adversity. To be independent and to be dependent only to God.
Working on our daily errands in the workplace seemed to be endless. It never stops like a restless soul drifting in the sea of busy crowd who all want to get ahead in the game. Fortunately, my preference is to be with my family first and commit most of my time with them while some prefers to commit most of their time to accumulate material wealth that can easily be gone in a snap. Aside from my spiritual well-being, I believe time is the most valuable asset at everyone's disposal. When you lose thousands or millions, you can always bring it back but when you lose time, that is something you can never get back so the most logical answer to the problem of time is to spend it wisely with someone that really matters to your life and work hard to keep it intact aligned to God’s words . I may sound religious but the truth is, I am not. I keep on mentioning God simply because He is the reason why I am here and why I do what I do. After surviving so many adverse moments of my life and getting back up and down again, It is only when I tried to approach God that I found real peace, joy and contentment. So why should I depart from His word when all He’s given me is peace of mind and joy of heart. Why should I not believe. If God is the reason why from a life of restlessness and worry, my life turned into a calm ocean full of hope…again the logical answer is to enrich your life with God and to know Him more and build an ironclad relationship absolutely dependent in Him, through Him and with Him.
I am so glad that I’m back into climbing mountains after years of absence. This time I’m doing the action with my family and close friends. They are my ministry. There’s nothing more I can ask for but reconciliation and love to those i've wronged in the past. I pray for their hearts to be filled with joy and forgiveness and that they may live with abundance of joy and love in their hearts.
So continue on and reach that goal with your family. Conquer that summit together…the earth is a gift from God for us to enjoy. Explore the outdoors and beyond...
(Acidre Family): Rain Manuel, Rain, Doc Ake and yours truly
(Hilario Family): Engr. Dann Ryann, Paris and Sam
(Mendez Family): Grace, Julio, and Daddy Jopeth