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Bear Gryll’s Greatest Adventure

Bear Grylls is well-known as a man who embodies the spirit of adventure and outdoor survival. His love of adventure began when he was growing up on the Isle of Wight. His late father, Sir Michael Grylls, taught him to climb. Bear says, “It brought us close and I loved it. It was never about the climbs but about that closeness.” In his book “To My Sons” he writes, “Aim to live a wild, generous, full, exciting life – blessing those around you and seeing the good in all. Follow your dreams – they are God-given.”

Bear trained in martial arts and perfected many of his skills when he served for 3 years in the British Special Forces as a member of 21 SAS. He has climbed Everest; crossed the North Atlantic on an inflatable boat; navigated the Northwest Passage; survived crocodile-infested swamps in Indonesia; and para-motored over the Himalayas. He says, “It is through faith that we find peace, but that same faith can also give us great boldness to reach out that little bit further than maybe we are comfortable. Everything worthwhile in life comes from reaching beyond that point of comfort; daring to risk it all; following our dreams despite the cost; loving despite the pain; hoping despite the doubts; and living boldly despite the fear. Life is an adventure that it best lived boldly.”

Bear is the youngest-ever Chief Scout and is a role-model to 40 million scouts worldwide. He says, “Scouting is about faith, it’s about friendship, it’s about fun – it’s all part of what we wanted when we grew up.” When it comes to adventure, he says, “The first step is always the hardest. That’s the one that takes the most courage. I’ve learned not to run from that fear and just do it.”

Bear says that finding simple faith to empower his life has been his greatest adventure. “Life is a journey and at times we all need a guide. For me that guide has become my backbone, my helper, my companion and my friend. I always thought that Christianity was about being very sensible and acting all smart and religious. But the more I discovered about Jesus Christ himself, the more I found a man who was as unreligious as you can imagine. It seemed that the very heart of the Christian faith was not about church, pulpits, sermons or Latin verse! It was about a relationship with someone who promises us life in abundance, joy within, peace without and freedom in our soul. Now I was interested!”

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Thought

The earth is the Lord’s

In 2007 the BBC reported that a scientist in the USA, Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, had forecast that by the summer of 2013 the Arctic would be ice-free. Other scientists agreed with this forecast, which was based on super-computer models. This summer 20 yachts tried to sail the Northwest Passage, which links the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. All these vessels are presently stuck in the ice because the Northwest Passage has remained ice-bound and impassable all summer. The Arctic ice sheet has grown this summer by a million square miles, an increase of 60% on last year.

In the Bible we read of the sufferings of Job. He was a good man who experienced great personal tragedy in his life. The book of Job records his struggle to understand why these things had happened to him. His so-called “comforters” told him his sufferings were God’s punishment on his sins. Then God appears to Job and answers his questions by asking him questions. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”

Then God highlights all the amazing features of the heavens and earth which he has created, including ice. He asks Job, “From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?” Job’s humble response to all God says is, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes see you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

This wonderful universe was created by God and he continues to uphold it in his perfect wisdom. Despite everything people do which is environmentally damaging God’s creation remains amazingly stable. The understanding of the greatest of men is very small and partial. Early modern scientists, encouraged by their faith in God, were conscious of “thinking God’s thoughts after him.” Like Job, we, too, need to find God in the perplexing experiences of our lives. He is gracious and compassionate and very kind. Sometimes out of the pain and struggles of life we come to know God’s presence and comfort in a new way.