Yesterday my husband and I went on a hike in nearby Fair Hill, Maryland. The scenery was stunning this time of year and there were so many neat things to see. We walked several miles of trails and saw trees of many colors reflected in a stream, a historic covered bridge, old stone buildings, magnificent trees in the middle of vast fields, and of course many beautiful horses (for those who don’t know, Fair Hill is horse country). As I hiked I thought to myself, I can’t believe I have lived in my current home for nearly 13 years and have never taken advantage of hiking these beautiful trails that are a short drive away. And then when I got home, I looked in my backyard and took a picture (seen here) and thought, I also have beauty in my own backyard! So many times I’m guilty of wanting to be somewhere else – far, far away in exotic lands – and missing what’s right in front of me – or of wanting more (usually money) instead of realizing how much I already have. Yesterday reminded me that I have many riches in my own backyard: a comfortable home, people who love me, sights to see and much to do with my time. King Solomon, one of the wisest people in the Bible, warned us not to seek more riches but to be grateful for what we have. (True, he was extremely rich, but ended up seeking more which eventually led to his downfall). The Bible says “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.” (Deuteronomy 8:10-14.) I know there’s much debate about whether or not God wants us to be rich. I don’t think He frowns on riches, just the pursuit of them beyond all else. All I know for sure is that He wants us to be grateful for what He has given us. The Bible also says “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have. Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5a). I can also be guilty of trying to “find God” and feeling frustrated I cannot – when He is also right there in my own backyard – in the nature that surrounds me and in the Bible sitting right there on my table. Lord, let me be content with all of the riches You have given me, and with the knowledge that I can find you right here where I am.