I love backpacking.
If you had told me 20 years ago that those words would someday escape my mouth, I would’ve thought you’d mistaken me for someone else. But I married a guy who loves the great outdoors, and God saw fit to give us three adventurous sons as well. So maybe it was inevitable.
It took several years of married life, but my hubby finally convinced me to go backpacking with him for our 10th anniversary. The night before our trip when I was stuffing all of my clothing and toiletries into a bag no bigger than the gallon of milk in my fridge, I shed a few tears. What was I thinking when I agreed to such a thing?
But I survived two nights of sleeping on the ground and drinking water filtered out of rivers and streams we passed on our journey. And I came out on the other end of it feeling as though my eyes had been opened to a new me. I didn’t realize I was capable of so much!
Including Our Boys in Our Adventures
We’ve since added our boys to the backpacking equation and have taken half a dozen overnight backpacking trips with our family. It is hard work. We get sweaty and dirty, we reek of bug spray and we commiserate about sore muscles and blistered toes. But we also awe over the beauty of God’s creation, and when we reach our destination, we feel such a sense of accomplishment (and joy that we will soon have the opportunity to shower and sit down for pizza!)
Perhaps the greatest benefit of backpacking is that it takes our family away from the distractions of this world.
We all love the comforts of home. The air conditioning, the comfy couches, the wonderful world of the internet, and movie nights with popcorn. But when we take our family away from those worldly treasures, even if it’s just for a little while, it’s easier to focus on our true treasure. God, our creator and his son Jesus Christ.
In the gospels says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:21
In all honesty, I lean too much on worldly treasure. It’s is a challenge for me to let go of the world and rest completely in my Savior, but I will continue to put myself and my family out of our comfort zone and away from our material stuff in order to be reminded that though God has given us many beautiful earthly things, it is not in them that our treasure lies. May we always find our treasure in the giver and not the gifts.