Jive Highland Resort was the perfect venue for such a rare opportunity. It was an out-of-the-way mountain resort nestled at an altitude of 1,184 meters above sea level—and it was cold. Wind-driven fog would roll by even in the afternoon, and tall pine trees with evergreen, needle-like leaves thrived on the property.
But we persevered. Our fellowship warmed us throughout the arrivals, into dinner, introductions, and all the way to our first night and the short tour we took on the first day.
One of the most enjoyable things about the young adults’ campout was the lack of a strict schedule. We still had to be on time for some activities, but between these events, we had plenty of time to spend on other things, which we spent rekindling our friendships.
On the second day, we went on a hike. That sounds simple, but the actual activity was anything but. It was a long, grueling, and often dangerous trail, with plenty of opportunities for injury. Yet, expecting a leisurely walk, most of us went terribly unprepared. Perhaps our state can be summarized by a simple fact: some of us wore flip-flops and had to go on the rest of the hour-and-a-half hike barefooted.
Nevertheless, we were not worried. The blessing of security and fruitfulness before we departed assured us, and we laughed and helped each other in good nature. No one complained through the most difficult challenges—even when one of us sustained a minor injury—and everyone enjoyed the fruits of our hardship when we arrived at our destination: two enormous waterfalls and a cave.
Like the path we traversed in the mountains, our spiritual paths are often narrow and difficult to walk. But we pursue that path despite the hardships, knowing that it leads to a beautiful place hidden within a wilderness of uncertainty.
Yet, even without the beautiful destination, the journey itself was a treasure. Modern society is hyper-focused on results, and we easily forget that trials themselves can be gifts from God.
However, all good things come to an end, as they say. Journey, destination and everything in between; all these things will remain in our memory, both as lived experiences and lessons that we will carry.
We are reassured, though, of the friendships we quickly formed and the easy camaraderie that we shared over just three days—so far from the awkwardness of when we were teens, when it took us days to rekindle the fire of our friendships. In this life, things are beautiful and meaningful because they can end, and just as suddenly begin again. We hope to have a similar experience next year!
Aloever G. Dulay