We had the opportunity to go to Bukidnon yesterday where we enjoyed family tiem at Dahilayan Adventure Park. World-class ziplines, ropes courses, a luge ride, a drop zone and a base jump make up for an incredible fun place to take the family.
Since not many people were keen on traveling to the Mindanao region, the park wasn’t crowded. In fact, it was the best time to go! And, it felt very safe to be in Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro City, where we also stayed. (The military was extremely cautious and the peace and order was commendable.)
At the park, Edric challenged the boys to do some pretty difficult activities, one of which was the Base Jump. This meant they would leap from a high tower like a paratrooper (without the parachute) until the resistance from the harness kicked in. Elijah, who tends to be the adventurous one was incredibly excited. Titus, our laid back and easy going fellow, felt slightly terrified but jumped right off the platform easily. Edan, on the other hand, who is very calculated and risk-averse, actually got teary eyed when it was his turn. He was scared out of his mind.
Some days prior, Edric encouraged our family to memorize Philippians 4:7 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The Base Jump proved to be the best application of courage for Edan who was very tempted to escape from the challenge. With the encouragement of Edric and his brothers, as well as onlookers, he inched towards the end of the platform and leaped off, tears and all!
It was a man-building moment for him. Afterwards, Edric affirmed all the boys, especially Edan, and processed the definition of courage with them. “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is embracing the fear and overcoming it.”
As for me, I had my own moment of terror when Edric asked me to do the Drop Zone, which involved being cradled in a swing that launched from a 120 foot point. I hate heights! But Edric convinced and suckered me to tandem-ride with him.
It looked crazy high from on top, at the launching point…Edric had to pull the chord to release us. I couldn’t have done it.
It takes a father and husband like Edric to get our family to do these things. Even if personalities like Edan and myself would prefer to avoid vomit-inducing rides and experiences, Edric is able to pep talk us into doing them anyway. I must say that I appreciate his pushiness afterwards but when I’m in the moment I’m resistant and difficult and I say things like, “I can’t believe you are making me do this!”
Since I have three boys I can’t act like a sissy. I’ve got to keep my cool when faced with challenges so they aren’t infected by my fear. And since courage is a trait Edric is trying to instill in our kids, especially our boys, I need to help him model this for them.
There were a bunch of other activities to enjoy in Dahilayan Adventure Park and the prices were very affordable (even for a big family). Our younger kids got to ride on the shorter ziplines and everyone had a blast! We could have spent the entire day there but we had to head back to Cagayan de Oro City to conduct a seminar.
Our family’s experience at Dahilayan Adventure Park made me reflect on courage. In fact, just a week prior, I finished a short book by Bill Hybels, one of his older ones, called Who You Are When No One’s Looking. He listed courage as one of the endangered traits of humanity.
We all need to grow in courage. I certainly do. Thankfully, there are many opportunities to practice courage that count way more than getting on a thrill-seeking ride. Hybels explains, “Courage is foundational to being a Christian. It takes courage to begin a walk with Christ, to reach your hand and trust him. It takes courage to lead a life of obedience to Christ. It takes courage to be moral and to build significant relationships with your spouse, your children, and with your friends. It takes courage to expand a business, change your major or start a new career. It takes courage to leave home or to go back home.”
He also outlined five kinds of courage:
Courage in the ordinary – “It takes a great deal of courage to face life’s ordinary, everyday challenges. We choose between the right thing and the convenient thing, sticking to a conviction or caving in for the sake of comfort, greed or approval.”
Courage to be vulnerable – “The Bible says that, to become a Christian, you have to own up to your sins before a holy God…If you are too chicken to repent, then please don’t ever say Christianity is for weak people.”
Courage to follow – 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, We walk by faith, not by sight. “Cowards don’t last long in their spiritual pilgrimages…It takes enormous courage to follow God’s leading in the Christian life.”
Relational courage – Many married people do not have the courage to “fight for their marriages.” Many parents don’t have the courage to “discipline their children.” Many people can’t summon the courage to “build significant relationships with people.”
Courage to be moral – “How much courage is required to stay sexually pure in a sex-crazed culture?” A lot!
Why can we be courageous even in the face of uncertainty, doubt, pressure, and fear? Well, let me end with the apostle Paul’s charge to us, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)