New Skin

(This blog was originally published by Jean-Marie Jobs on December 8, 2014)

Recently when I was in Taiwan on a business trip, I had the opportunity to visit a retreat center in the mountains. It was a beautiful location: ferns, trees, streams, lakes. The nature director was taking our group on a guided walk one afternoon and began to explain how when the Japanese came to Taiwan, they planted tons of yellow cypress trees to replicate the fine wood they had available in their homeland.   The problem occurred as the trees matured – in the subtropical climate of Taiwan, they grew faster and taller than they did in Japan. As a result the wood was less dense, hence less desirable. As I heard the story I was struck by the parallels in my own life. I go somewhere new (which includes new relationships) and I’m immediately drawn to recreate what I’m familiar with, what’s comfortable, what seems ‘right’.   Just like the Japanese, I find the ‘old’ way is unsustainable in the new environment.

The Scripture says it this way:

Matt 9:16-17

16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” NIV

Try on a new mindset today.