Recently, I had the misfortune of watching a highly anticipated movie only to find it utterly disgusting and disappointing. It was supposed to be a comedy, but the sexually abusive nature of the “fighting” ruined the supposedly zany plotline and ridiculous antics of the characters. I bemoaned the movie to my good friend who also had the misfortune of seeing it. You wouldn’t have known about the fight scenes from the trailer which promised a comedy in and out of the multiverse.
Some images cannot be unseen and the best thing my friend and I hoped for was “forgetfulness.” However, it means we have to stop thinking about how horrid the images were. As you well know, as soon as you tell yourself to forget something, you remember it. Like right now, I’m yet again trying not to remember the images but in writing this blog, I have the misfortune of having those scenes flash in my mind’s eye.
My friend then told me to make this a Philippians 4:8 moment. Instead of thinking about the bloody and sexually suggestive fight scenes, I would say, Philippians 4:8 and look for the beautiful, the pure, the good, the lovely, the virtuous, and think on these praiseworthy things. Focusing on the positive will leave no room for negative thoughts.
It’s the same way in life. The news is filled with the bad and the horrible. All around us, fear abounds and outrage explodes. There are plenty of things and events to be upset over, and everyday annoyances large and small. “Did you see that guy cut me off?” “The price of gas is over the roof.” “Sri Lanka just collapsed, are we next?” We can so easily fall into playing the cynic and drag down not only our own mood, but everyone around us.
Being a cynic and dwelling on negative things doesn’t change them one bit. Your circumstances are still the same. Only you’re more upset and anxious. Instead, focus on the positives, and if you can’t find any, do something kind for someone else. Instant positive thoughts and feelings! Make every moment a Philippians 4:8 moment, and soon, you will be flying above the clouds where it is lovely, pure, and free. Try it. Look at the people around you and find the good. Write down a time and place when someone showed kindness to you. Count your blessings. Even in the worst of circumstances, you can find something positive. In Acts 16:22-34 Paul and Silas were thrown into a Philippian jail after having been stripped naked and beaten. Their feet were locked into stocks, and it must have been cold and wet. They were battered and bruised, bloody and hungry. But at midnight they were singing praises unto God. They were singing with joy and hope and thankfulness!
I’m creating an audiobook for Kitty, It’s Cold Outside, and while proof-listening, I came across a passage where the heroine, Katherine Gills, is lost in another world [in another time]. Her new friends suspected she was a fraud or con-woman, and they were watching her carefully when they took her on a ride in a small airplane. I could picture and feel her sitting there when the pilot let her put her hands on the controls and pull the airplane through the cloud bank. What a joyous moment. Even though she was still lost in time and space, by keeping her focus upward, she was grateful and rejoicing, “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord God up High.”[The audiobook is ONLY 99c available from Google Play, where all my audiobooks are FREE or 99c]
Excerpt from Kitty, It’s Cold Outside:
“It’s so beautiful down there. The trees look so small, and I feel like I’m an angel looking down on everyone. I hope they’re being good this Christmas,” Katherine said.
“I bet you’re nice in Santa’s book,” the pilot said. “Because you’re going to get a real treat.”
“Will we go higher than the clouds?” Katherine asked, swinging her hands like she could reach out and touch the fluffy puffs.
“Even better, let’s go through them,” the pilot said.
“Goodness gracious!” Katherine put both hands on her face as the propeller cut through the cloudbank, and a thick gray mist surrounded the entire plane. “How can you see where we’re going?”
“I’ve got these instruments.” The pilot pointed to the screens. “Here, I’ll let you pull us up over the clouds.”
He put his hands over Kathrine’s and guided them onto the controls, then gently pulled back. The airplane’s nose lifted, and voila! Clear blue skies popped into view above with the clouds below.
Katherine squealed with joy. “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord God up High. We’re in the realm of angels. I wonder if we will see any.”
In case you’re wondering what movie NOT to see, check out this review. It’s hilarious. Of course, you might enjoy it, so to each his own! C’est la vie.
Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.
Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction.
She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.