What does your thankful face look like? Really. Go to a mirror, think thankful thoughts, and look at your face closely. Do you like the expression that you see?
This picture is of my Granny Thankful. Yes, her first name was Thankful. I am sure that she was a kind, compassionate woman who loved the people around her. Her expression does not carry much of a thankful face though. It says something more akin to: “That prune juice has a really nasty aftertaste.”
Back to our own thankful face—it is worth reflecting on how well we express thankfulness to our closest family, our friends, our neighbors, fellow church members, and ultimately to God Himself. Granny Thankful could blame the shutter speed of cameras back in her day for her sour look. We do not have the same luxury. What you see is what you get. You might want to ask the people closest to you about what they see in your thankful face. In Richard J. Foster’s classic book, Celebration of Discipline, he says this:
“Celebration is central to all the Spiritual Disciplines. Without a joyful spirit of festivity the Disciplines become dull, death-breathing tools in the hands of modern Pharisees. Every Discipline should be characterized by . . . a sense of thanksgiving.” (191)
As we celebrate a season set aside for thankfulness, I hope we also think about our celebration of thankfulness–that along with the Apostle Paul we “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” I hope that is what my thankful face expresses in the days ahead—what I am thankful for and Who I am most thankful in.
Here is a thought: if you want to commit to having a thankful face, make it public. Make your best Granny Thankful prune juice face and post it to http://facebook.com/7thDayBaptists and hashtag your photo with #thankfulface. Then, be sure that you leave that face behind and celebrate with thankfulness.
Grace and peace,
Carl Greene, Executive Director, SDB General Conference of USA and Canada
Giving Tuesday is coming: https://seventhdaybaptist.org/givingtuesday/
Foster, Richard. 1988. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. New York: HarperCollins.