Smart as a Duck



…while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:2

What do you know about ducks? I have to admit that the sum total of my duck knowledge could fit nicely inside a thimble!  Beyond identifying a Mallard and knowing I don’t really like eating them, and that they hatched from an egg, I had nothing.   I recently stumbled across a little story about ducks.  I have no earthly notion what possessed me to actually read the story but I’m really glad I did.

When a baby duck hatches, it becomes neurologically bonded with the first moving thing it sees. Scientists call it “imprinting.”  When this happens, the duck is permanently attached to the object.  In the perfect world, that object is a mamma duck and the imprinting allows the baby to follow and imitate the mamma learning all the skills and behaviors necessary to survive.  Since we live in an imperfect world, unfortunately the object is sometimes a human or a rubber ball or a cat.  While humans, cats, and balls are all great things in and of themselves, they can’t do much to help the duck learn to be what it was created to be…a duck.

The story was kind of fascinating and I was once again reminded of a phrase I often use while teaching amazing Science facts to the little lovelies, “Wow…only God could think of that!”

Humans are obviously superior to ducks in our thinking and behavior…or are we? The story left me thinking about the things in my own life that can “imprint” me.  I think like the ducks, we can often imitate what we see and hear.   Our behaviors and attitudes can certainly be influenced by the people and stuff we surround ourselves with.  It’s always a great idea to snoop around our spirit and our heart to see what’s leaving an imprint.  If a baby duck happens to imprint an object other than a mamma duck, the result is practically irreversible.  Thank goodness we’re not ducks!

If we are being imprinted with an attachment to the wrong things, we can un-do it. A baby duck at the moment of hatch, knows instinctively to search for a mamma to imitate and follow.  Every time we realize we are being imprinted with an attitude or behavior that we shouldn’t follow, we need to set our gaze on our Papa, God, who is waiting to forgive and welcome us back to His loving direction.  He’s just waiting to scoop us up and demonstrate the skills, attitudes, and behaviors that will lead us to our ultimate survival: with Him in heaven.

A Seed To Plant: Take some time this week to see what things are leaving an imprint on you.  Fix your gaze on the one who leaves the only imprint we need and ask Him to guide you away from the imprints that aren’t pleasing to Him.

Blessings on your day!

Copyright 2014, Sheri Wohlfert


About Author

Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to look at the simple ways we can all find God doing amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at

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