This weekend at Gateway Church, Pastor Charlie Weir, used an example in his sermon that has stuck with me, or should I say “Imprinted” on me 🙂
As Pastor Charlie encouraged us to take part in our yearly church wide fast, he used an example of zebras. We all know that each zebra has unique stripes. Their stripes are to them, what our fingerprint is to us. It is their identity. Pastor Charlie explained that when a female zebra births a baby zebra, the two of them then go off and stare at each other until the imprint of their specific pattern is embedded in each others minds. This is imprinting, and this is how zebras never misplace one another.
Life can be crazy, and it definitely moves fast. When I put my kids down for their naps, I always put Greta in her crib first, then I lay with Beau until he falls asleep (If I don’t he will play instead of sleep, and Momma knows her boy needs sleep!) I’ve come to really enjoy this time with my boy. When he is having a hard time falling asleep, he says “hands!” and puts one of his hands in each of mine. He falls asleep like this most days and I squint out of my closed eyes until I see his little eyes flutter to sleep. When it’s safe to open my eyes, I stare at his sweet sleeping face for a few moments and say a prayer of thanks to God for blessing my life with this boy and choosing me to be his mommy! Today I found myself thinking of him as a baby and trying to remember vivid memories of him falling asleep with me. I had a hard time coming up with them, though I know they happened often. This made me think of my baby, Greta, and I felt guilt for how many fewer times I’ve rocked her to sleep than I have Beau. She’s a dream baby, very self sufficient, always has been. She puts herself to sleep with the help of some Dave Matthews Band Lullaby’s (love the Rockabye Baby CD’s!) which makes my job much easier, but sometimes a little less sweeter. As I got up from my sleeping boy, I noticed he swiped his sisters blanket while giving her a kiss goodnight. I took it in her room – expecting to place it on my sleeping baby – but my little dream girl was sitting up, quietly kicking her legs to the music. I laid her back as I covered her, but got an overwhelming want to just hold her. So I picked her up and we rocked. I tried my closed eye squinting trick that always works on Beau, but Greta was on to me, she knew I wasn’t asleep. So I then took those moments to just look at her, and allow her to look at me. As we gazed at each other, I was reminded of those zebras Pastor Charlie was talking about. Sure, I know my child, but how often do I take the time to just stare at her? We had some really sweet moments, time that I hope I will be able to vividly recall one day when thinking of her younger days.
I think all that imprinting with her Momma got her mind too excited to sleep because baby girl didn’t nap today!!!
I may have left some of you wondering how the zebras related to fasting…you are welcome to watch Pastor Charlie’s entire sermon to get a better understanding, but I’ll sum it up real quick. He went on to explain that fasting helps us identify God and grow our God identity.While fasting, you’re to take the time you would normally spend preparing food, or eating food, and instead, give that time to God…
Can you imagine taking the time to stare at God, to imprint with God! If I take for granted staring at my kids, who I can physically see everyday, I’m most certainly guilty of taking for granted staring at God, whom I can’t see. I know there are moments, when I take the time to, I do see God, but have I really taken the time to SEE God?! I’m compelled to find out!
I feel a little guilty to admit I ate graham crackers while writing this post…we did not start the fast with the rest of our church today, but do plan to participate in 1 of the 3 weeks, and I look forward to the extra time I will spend staring at God, imprinting with Him!
Just in case you don’t watch Pastor Charlie’s entire sermon, (though I do think you should, it was an excellent one!) I wanted to mention another thing he said that sent chills up my spine in the instant it hit my ears. If Apple is able to improve their voice recognition, otherwise known as Siri, every single year, surely spending time alone focused on God would improve our ability to differentiate His voice from every other noise in our world. WOW! You know your Pastor is spending some good time imprinting with the Lord to bring you a thought like that! And that ladies and gents is one of the many reasons why I love my church!
Friends, don’t let the moments get away from you. Take the time to stare at your babies, your spouse, our Lord, and see how it will affect your relationships with all of them!