Imprinting

Imprinting

By Vicki Gonzalez

Jeremiah 31:33, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Imprinting means 

  • To produce a mark or pattern on a surface by pressure, 
  • A distinguishing influence or effect,  
  • A learning mechanism in which a particular stimulus immediately establishes an irreversible behavior pattern.

Every three months or so, as a child, my family would go out to “the family farm” in Carlinville, IL.  My dad’s family lived there and we would visit the various relative’s homes.  Each of them lived on a farm.  I have some wonderful memories of playing in the barns and with the animals.

My Uncle Russell had an awesome farm.  My favorite pastime was feeding and riding his horses.  I learned to ride at a young age and was always amazed at the gentleness of his horses.  

I would watch my uncle and cousins care for the horses.  I learned how to put on a saddle (which for a six yr. old is very heavy by the way!), give the horses feed, and brush them.  With the foals (baby horses), I would watch my uncle pick them up in his arms, turn them around and slowly put them down.  They would tremble uncontrollably and he would calm them down with his soothing voice and patting.  I never understood why he had to do that, but he said that doing this would help them to be gentle and docile.

Monty Roberts, who is called “The Horse Whisperer”, wrote that very early in the life of a newborn colt a person could take the colt, put their arms around it and gently pick it up off the ground, then turn around with it before putting it down.  Doing this would permanently “imprint” the colt.  This “imprinting” would establish a lifetime authority and control over it so when a human of any size walks up to it, the horse continues to think “this is a human and they can pick me up and turn me around.”

I remember the “imprint” that took place in my life as a nine-year-old child on Feb. 27, 1975.  God picked me up, loved me, and filled me with His Spirit establishing an unforgettable behavior pattern in my life.  In the years that I have served Him, I’ve had Him pick me up and do things in my life, if for no other reason perhaps than to show me that He loves me and is in control.

Breeders who raise deer say that when a fawn is born they have a seventy-two hour maximum to “imprint” it.  This will take away the “Fear Factor”.  How amazing that this one event can reverse the nature of a wild animal.  Paul speaks of us as being “wild by nature”  (Romans 11:24).  But “contrary to nature” God has made us one of His own, “imprinting” us with His “Divine Nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).

Remember there will be many times on our Christian journey when all of a sudden life takes a turn and we are knocked off our feet.  That helpless feeling comes and the big question looms;  God, what are you doing?  

May I tell you that every time He seemed to pick me up and turn me around, He always soothed my trembling soul and body, reminding me of His love and that He is “imprinting” my life to manifest His Glory to this world!  There’s no need to fear.  He’s got it all in control, so trust Him to do the “good work in you”!

Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

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