I think that many people avoid Christianity like a plague because they think it requires people to follow a boring list of do’s and dont’s. If following Christ means us, Nebraska rednecks, transforming into a smiley Mr. Rogers, then lets be honest, its not that appealing. But I discovered that following after the cause of Christ is one of the most adrenaline packed adventures on the planet. Sure we value being good moral people, but scripture also tells us that Jesus has come to give us life, and give it to us to the full (John 10:10).
Last week I was at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in Scotland. I am not sure how I made the inaugural team, but I got to be the first and only American on the six person team. It was a week full of adventure, survival training, and “Man Tests”. The guides were renown mountain guides who played major roles behind the scenes of Discovery channel’s, Man vs Wild. Even Bear Grylls, himself came to train our team for a day. We ate maggots, built shelters out of trees, made harnesses, crossed freezing rivers, climbed the mountains of Scotland, and eventually got “abandoned” on an island. My 35 year old body tanked hard and shivered all night, but that was what made it so much fun.
When the media was interviewing Bear Grylls, one lady turned to me and said why a “pastor” would want to do this survival course. I told her that it had a lot to do with my calling as a Christian to bring the hope of Christ, to dark, dangerous, and despised places. And that this survival training was not only beneficial for myself in those areas, but it could also benefit those that live in dangerous areas every day – I think it caught the reporter off guard. I hope she made the discovery that following Christ or even being a pastor doesn’t mean that we are members of a “Bored-in-the-Lord-Club.” Following hard after Christ gives believers a cause to engage that is full of love, adventure, and risk.
I was amazed at the spiritual conversations I was able to have with the other five team members. I guess, living in the wild away from technology has a way of making people do some intense soul searching. One student, decided to start opening himself up to Christ while another fellow student asked me for my Bible. The training I received at BGSA was fulfilling, but it was in those moments that I felt most full and alive.
Bear Grylls himself stated in his book, Mud Sweat and Tears, “Christ comes to make us free, to bring us life in all its fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t), and to be the backbone in our being.”
If you have scrapped the idea of Christianity or church for of any number of reasons then I would encourage you to get involved with a community of Christ followers that is alive and active. Give it everything you got and you yourself may make the great discovery that living for Christ is everything, but boring.
Caleb Bislow the author of Dangerous and founder of Unusual Soldiers.