By Mark Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS – September 17, 2015) — British adventurer Bear Grylls, who starred in the TV survivor series Man vs. Wild, has eaten snakes, scorpions, and the eyeballs of yaks to ward off hunger in treacherous corners of the world. But the backbone of his existence is a deeply rooted faith in God nurtured since his youth.
“I had a very natural faith as a kid,” Grylls told Relevant Magazine. “As a really young kid, I never questioned God. I just knew God existed and it felt like He was my friend.”
Grylls grew up on the Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of Great Britain in the English Channel. He became a black belt in karate in his teens, started a mountaineering club at Eton College, and was one of the youngest in the world to scale Mt. Everest at 23.
His father, Sir Michael Grylls, was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, and taught the younger Grylls how to climb and sail as a boy.
At school, his “wild, free, and natural” relationship with God was challenged by what he perceived as a religious spirit. “When I got to school it (Christianity) became a lot more religious and I thought, ‘I don’t like this,’” he told CBN. “It was all about church-going and people telling you not to smoke behind the bike shed. I thought if this is God, maybe I’ve got the whole deal wrong, so I kind of ditched my faith.”
At 16, he lost his godfather, who had been like a second father. “I remember wanting to pray, but not knowing how to,” he recalled to CBN.
Grylls climbed up in a tree and poured his heart out to God. “Will you be that friend to me that you were at five or six when it felt natural?” he asked.
He believes that special moment and his simple prayer represented “finding a faith” — or rediscovering the faith of his youth. “It was no more complicated than that. And actually the amazing thing is that all God asks is that we sort of open the door and He’ll do the rest,” he told Relevant Magazine.
Photo caption: Bear Grylls in action.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com , a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
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