This is slightly embarrassing to admit, but I sometimes make up songs.
Okay, quite frequently, I make up songs. Especially while driving or singing to my pets. What can I say? Part of me is still 10 years-old.
I’m not sure when, but I’m sure that several years ago on some drizzly, depressing day as I was stuck in commuter traffic for an hour, I decided to combine “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music with one of my favorite verses, Philippians 4:8.
“Finally, brothers, 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.”
Isn’t what Paul suggests in that verse essentially the same thing as singing a song about your favorite things in order to chase away biting dogs and stinging bees?
I never understood how the Von Trapp kids could be so afraid of the storm when they were having so much fun and singing about German food (yum), kittens, and ribbons. Listen to your own song!–I’d think to myself while watching the movie as a child.
Isn’t that how I used to be, though? Just like the Von Trapp kids, I was surrounded by blessings and could have constructed an impressive gratitude list. But most days, I didn’t. I focused on the storm, the dogs, and the bees.
Sometimes I catch myself dwelling on whatever is dark, whatever is depressing, whatever is in the past, whatever is scary, whatever is dirty, and whatever is painful. When I do, I’m grateful that I’m more easily able to recognize my own tendency to focus on the drone of the bees rather than the quiet hum of What Really Matters in my heart. And then I swap out those “whatevers” for those listed in Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
And then I don’t feel soooo baaaaad . . .