Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
Earlier this summer, two wild turkey poults, or babies, followed our neighbor home from the woods and imprinted onto him; they thought Tim was their mother and followed him everywhere he went (he drew the line at his front door). They would follow him around as he mowed his grass, over into our yard for a picnic and even ran up the street after his motorcycle. Imprinting is a critical period in the life of a young animal; by attaching themselves to the first being they encounter (usually their mother), they learn all the information they need to survive in the world.
I used to think of discipleship as largely my job. It was my job to understand Jesus and then follow in his footsteps. It was my job to try and match my mind and heart to his. It was my job to shape my actions around his. By doing so, I would be a good disciple and live in the way God intends.
But imprinting is more about letting the mother/leader teach us and mold us. After an animal has imprinted, its primary job is to follow and be led. Perhaps that is a better model for discipleship. To let the same mind be in me that was in Christ Jesus is to open myself to Jesus’ influence—to allow myself to be shaped and molded by him.
Prayer: Oh God, free us of our notions of what it means to be your disciple. Open us to be shaped and molded by Christ Jesus. Amen.