Forgive the irreverent title to this blog post. Here's the scripture that inspired it and the musings that follow:
So Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does." John 5:19
Who is my father? Whomever I follow by my example is my father. If God is my Father, I will do what God does. I will pattern my behavior after that of Jesus. If however, my behavior and words are not self-sacrificial, not filled with love, and don't bring life to others, then maybe I follow a different father. If I am preoccupied with the cares of this world--food, money, clothing, status, etc.--then I am not following God as my Father. Instead, the world is my father.
Like a baby duck that imprints on the first thing it sees upon opening its eyes, I also imprint on that which captures my attention and focus. I will do what I see my father doing, so I must focus on the right father. For me, that means immersing myself in the Word and surrounding myself with support that keeps me focused on the Father. What I read, the music I listen and others who also desire to follow the Father help me imprint the Father's ways in my mind.
From my earthly father I learned good things, but because he is not perfect, I learned behaviors that are not those of the true Father. I could not even recognize those behaviors as incompatible with God's behaviors until I spent much time focusing on God as taught and lived out in Jesus. As God has shown the traits in my life that are out of sync with those of Jesus, I have sought to imprint on Jesus so that those traits of the world are overcome by the love of God.
It's a lifelong process and I'm constantly humbled by how much I fail to imprint on my Father. It's why I am so in need of grace.