This post is apart of a series of reviews that will appear on Wednesdays.
Let me start by saying that I’ve been a fan of Bear Grylls for several years. I always enjoyed his televisions shows, most notably Man vs Wild, even if they were somewhat overly sensationalized or surrounded by some controversies. That stuff really didn’t bother me. I knew from the start that this guy was the real deal. He may not have done the safest things to get from point A to point B, but that’s not what he was doing. He was being put in a situation and asked, “What would you do? With all your training and experience, how would you take this situation?” Sometimes it would work and sometimes it would not. Either way it was still entertaining television.
And while I watched the show I began to notice a few things more about the man than just what he would do in the wild. I noticed he often talked about his faith, his Christian faith to be more specific. It was refreshing.
It was refreshing to see a guy out in these crazy situations, tackling nature, a man’s-man, who was able to admit that he drew strength from somewhere else. He wasn’t preachy or dropping Jesus’s name all around like a celebrity story at a cocktail party. He was honest and would mention it in passing. Sitting next to a campfire while talking about his family or while standing on mountain overlooking the miles of landscape surrounding him, he’d mention how it made him think of his Christian faith.
I say all this because when I saw he would be releasing an autobiography, I knew it was something I was going to read. The book did not disappoint.
It describes the background of his family and his childhood all through his early adulthood, military career, and culminating with his attempt to climb Mt. Everest. Along the way you learn how his personality was formed and the values that make him who he is. He discusses his very personal decisions involving faith, leadership, education, and even his stance on premarital sex. It’s an open and honest account of a man who is known around the world yet isn’t ashamed to share his faith.
I highly recommend this book. I’ve included a few of my favorite quotes below.
Fear forces you to look tough on the outside but makes you weak on the inside.
Despite all my friends thinking I was utterly mad, deep down I felt a determination to try to keep my virginity for my wife one day.
No one will do it all for you. That is left to each of us: to go out, to grab life, and to make it our own.
What I did know was that I needed something to give me back my hope. My sparkle. My life. I found that something in my Christian faith, in my family, and also in my dreams of adventure. My Christian faith says that I have nothing ever to fear or worry about. All is well. At that time, in and out of hospital, it reminded me that, despite the pain and despair, I was held and loved and blessed—my life was secure through Jesus Christ.
Life doesn’t often give us second chances. But if it does, be bloody grateful.