“But now thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
Edward Michael Grylls might be better known by his professional name, Bear Grylls, a survivalist, speaker, author, and host of the Discovery Channel show, Man vs. Wild – and most recently a 2020 special shot in India titled Into the Wild.
His knack for surviving was learned and tested much earlier in his life. Always adventurous, he went on various thrilling excursions as a teenager and young adult. He was never content to sit still for too long. He loved challenging himself literally to new heights, including hiking in the Himalayan mountains. Eventually, his risk-taking spirit led him to join the Territorial Army & after passing selection, served as a reservist for 3 years.
It was after one of his thrill-seeking excursions in 1996 that he would face his greatest challenge when he suffered a free-fall parachuting accident in Zambia. His canopy ripped at 16,000 feet partially opening, causing him to fall the rest of the way, landing on his parachute pack on his back. While he miraculously survived, three of his vertebrae were crushed.
At first it was highly doubtful that he would ever walk again. According to his surgeon, he came “within a whisker” of being paralyzed for life. But he never doubted he would do even more than walk again. With the resolve and determination he seemed born with, he spent the next 12 months in and out of military rehabilitation. The physical therapy was painful and exhausting at times, but Bear never gave up.
Then, on May 16, 1998, a short 18 months after the accident that crushed three of his vertebrae, Bear Grylls achieved his childhood dream and climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. While he remains among the youngest people to have achieved this incredible feat, perhaps his biggest accomplishment is the fact that even in the face of a painful setback, he never gave up. He was still the adventuresome risk-taker that he’d always been, even while lying broken on the operating table. His vantage point might have changed, but who he believed himself to be never wavered.
Too often we let our circumstance dictate who we are. But the truth is, God created us all as unique and wonderful individuals. Each and every one of us is special and different and has a specific purpose. Have you lost sight of who you are? Have you never quite figured it out? Now is a perfect time to rediscover the purpose and identity that God has given to you. And then, you, too, can soar to new heights.
Watering the Seeds
When you were younger, what did you always think you would do, or grow to be? When did that change?
If you don’t feel you are where you are supposed to be right now, what can you do today to reroute your path?