Peter Pan is a beloved fictional character who never grows up. In one of my favorite scenes, Peter flies around the bedroom while Wendy, John, and Michael look on. He then tries to teach his friends to fly. A pinch of pixie dust, and then… nothing. Then Peter remembers: you also have to think happy thoughts.
Early on in our courtship, my husband and I would reference this scene, capturing our happy thoughts that we wanted to hold on to forever. Philippians 4:8-9 became our family verses for this reason. Verse eight reads, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Think happy thoughts became our motto, which to us simply means, “Look at what God has done.”
These verses help us put on our God lens. When we look around us, it’s obvious that what we see is not heaven. However, as God’s new creations who have put our faith in Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to see Him in all things, but it will require a shift of perspective and a new filter for our lives.
In Jeannie Cunnion’s book, Mom Set Free, she said, “Envision the cross standing between you and your child… If the cross of Christ is between my child and me, there are only two ways to get to the other side. I can either go around the cross and discipline in my sinful nature, or I choose to go through the cross and discipline in grace.”
While she speaks of discipline, this tactic has helped me better live out Philippians 4:8-9. Using the cross as a filter, those excellent and praiseworthy things illuminate around us. It transforms anxiety, fear, stress, and anger into fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Paul further tells us in verse 9, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Think happy thoughts is a choice we make moment by moment, but cultivating that mindset and rejoicing in the Lord guarantees heavenly peace. If this is difficult for you, pray to God for Him to restore your heart and show pieces of Himself to you throughout the day.