Fans of Man vs. Wild have seen Bear Grylls do it all in the realm of adventure survival. The Discovery Channel host has slept within a disemboweled camel, scaled Mount Everest, even all manner of creepy-crawly creature, and still ends every episode not only intact, but still beaming his infectious smile! Fearlessness is not the only factor that has brought Grylls to great heights. His journey to genuine faith has been lifelong, too, and fuels his passion for adventure to a whole new dimension.
You might say Grylls was born to adventure. His close-knit family grew up embracing outings and the outdoors, and his career path as part of the elite Royal Special Air Service. That three-year stint was just an extension of his passion for adventure that led him to become one of the youngest to ever scale Mount Everest at 23, and his regular viewers may not realize that the super survivalist credits his faith and Scriptures for that success as his “secret strength.” He declares his love for climbing mountains is partly because “it demands something more than the physical.” Grylls had a natural love of God as a child, knowing him as friend, but his school years, steeped in the boundaries of religion rather than faith wore away at that relationship. He rejected “the God of endless assemblies” he was barraged with, and abandoned his faith, until the loss of his godfather, which he describes in his book, Mud, Sweat, and Tears, drew him back to faith at 16. Being surrounded by the beauty of nature is only part of the equation that brings Bear Grylls to a real understanding of faith. Much like his survivalist training, he strips away “fluff” of doctrine and religiosity, defining faith as being about “being loved, being forgiven, and finding home,” and the grand adventure has found grand satisfaction in his own life with wife, Shara, and their three sons.
Grylls insist that that any person’s faith journey can become the “wildest ride” of all, because Christ himself was the most radical, exciting figure ever to exist. He celebrates sharing tea at the top of a hill with his eight-year-old as much as any extreme adventure. He hopes to teach the moms, the sanitation workers, or any of his typical viewers that the greatest adventure is in the “connection with people” made along the way.