BANNOCKBURN, IL " International television star Bear Grylls, who has braved some of the toughest terrains known to man, recently revealed to Relevant magazine that his biggest challenge wasn`t climbing Mount Everest or putting his survival skills to the test on Man Vs. Wild ... but tackling life`s most difficult questions.
"It`s been a wiggly, messy journey that is continuing," Grylls shared in the May/June 2010 cover story. He added that the Alpha course has helped him to find sure footing during his spiritual ascent.
"I have seen Alpha touch so many people`s lives. I have seen many people find a simple faith through it, and I want to encourage it because it`s helped me a load, " he said.
Grylls told the magazine that early in life, he had a very natural " faith in God. As a really young kid, I never questioned God. I just knew God existed, and it felt like He was my friend, " he explained.
That faith seemingly disappeared when he entered adolescence, but it resurfaced during his college years: "Some really good friends turned their back on me ... and I remember praying a simple prayer up a tree one evening and saying, "God, if you`re like I knew you as a kid, would you be that friend again?` And it was no more complicated than that. "
Not that he has backed down from asking hard questions as an adult. Grylls said that Alpha "a 10-week course held in churches, workplaces, prisons and other settings, where no question is out of bounds and people are free to explore the claims of Christ for themselves in a pressure-free environment "has helped him traverse some towering questions about God: Do you exist? And if you do exist, are you nice? Do you really care?
More than 14 million people in 163 countries have participated in the Alpha course, including more than 2 million people in the U.S. Last year, in the States alone, more than 50,000 people made commitments to Christ through Alpha.
Ultimately, Grylls concluded that the most profound truth a person can discover during the Alpha course is seemingly the simplest one ... that we`re loved.
"Sometimes it`s hard for us to believe really believe that God cares for us and wants good things for us, " he observed. Some people are just scared, and they go, "Oh, God just wants me to be religious,` but actually He just loves us. He just wants us to be with Him, and that`s been the journey to discover that. "
For interviews about how a growing number of individuals and churches are running the Alpha course and seeing dramatic results, contact Janine Longoria at 224-588-8526 or firstname.lastname@example.org