"So often we kinda hide behind our yearning for love and acceptance with loads of complicated theological questions, and actually once that’s stripped away what we really are is just somebody who wants to have that relationship with our Father." - Bear Grylls
I have a new favorite television show - “Running Wild With Bear Grylls”. It’s a survival skills reality show where Bear Grylls (of Man Vs. Wild fame) takes a celebrity on a 48 hour wilderness adventure.
I love the show because it removes celebrities from the safety net of spotlights and stunt doubles, and puts them where they are no longer in control, following someone else’s lead in order to complete the journey alive.
As I was watched Bear lead celebrities like Zac Efron, Channing Tatum and Kate Winslet through a 48 hour adventure I thought to myself - “This reminds me of how God is with us.”
Sometimes God takes us out of our comfort zones in order to show us who He really is and who we really are.
As celebrities meet up with Bear they are not the done up, characters you see on the big screen or the red carpet. They look extremely normal and are just as nervous and excited as anyone else.
Putting celebrities in this kind of element allows us to connect with the human side of them.
I also love seeing the life and passion Bear lives with. He has a child like heart of adventure that sees the best in others and what they can accomplish if they conquer their fears.
As he leads his guest through the pre-designed journey, he doesn’t coddle them, or accept their belief of their limits, but pushes them out of their comfort zone, affirms their courage and calls them to do things they are terrified of and often doubt they can do.
Bear gives his companion instructions on what to do, how to do it and then lets them go at it. The guest must “follow the leader” in order to survive.
At first there is a lot of fear, things are slow and shaky, but Bear coaches them their each part of the journey, giving them confidence to continue, helping them get back on track when they lose their footing and congratulating them when they reach the next checkpoint with a hearty “Well done Zac!” (or whatever their name is)
This encouraging presence that calls people out of their comfort zone, and guides through difficult terrain reminded me of how God leads us, calling us to higher places, to walk through difficult paths, encouraging, challenging and guiding us along the way.
As Bear leads someone on their wildness adventure there is also a heart aspect to it all. I’m sure a lot of the questions and conversations are thought of before, but it doesn’t make the conversations any less real. On their journey there is always time for heart to heart chats - asking about their time in rehab, how they got into the business of Hollywood, what it was like going through the divorce, or what their childhood was like.
It’s not just about getting to the final destination, but about sharing an experience and bonding along the way.
That reminded me a lot of God. He’s not just concerned about us reaching certain destinations or doing great things, but wants to have a relationship with us on the journey. To connect with who we really are, talk about what’s happening in our life, and know our heart.
So many of the celebrities comment that the 48 hour adventure was what their soul needed. To unplug, get into nature, have a healthy adventure, and truly connect.
And I think that’s what God often calls us to. It may not be a 48 hour wilderness adventure, but he often calls us to take time to unplug, to take a risk, to follow His lead through a tough valley, to trust Him, learn from Him, to listen to His words of challenge and encouragement and connect.
Just like Running Wild, God has ordered your steps, He knows where He wants to take you if you'll follow, and will be right there by your side through it all.
Hopefully it doesn't involve eating worms and snakes though...=)
Here’s to your next adventure!
P.S. If you want to check out the show, all the full episodes are available on Youtube. Just search for "Running Wild With Bear Grylls".
FAVORITE BEAR GRYLL QUOTES:
Accidents on big mountains happen when people's ambitions cloud their good judgment. Good climbing is about climbing with heart and with instinct, not ambition and pride - Bear Grylls
You only get one chance at life and you have to grab it boldly. – Bear Grylls
Adventure should be 80 percent 'I think this is manageable,' but it's good to have that last 20 percent where you're right outside your comfort zone. Still safe, but outside your comfort zone. - Bear Grylls
So often we kinda hide behind our yearning for love and acceptance with loads of complicated theological questions, and actually once that’s stripped away what we really are is just somebody who wants to have that relationship with our Father - Bear Gryll