The world of fine woodworking is an expanse of techniques which deal with natural materials. There are countless circumstances where I know that if I do something one way, I will get good results. If I do something another way I will get bad results. One style of woodworking tradition is nearly void of bad results. That style is that of the Japanese.
Japan has one of the strongest and most skilled cultures of wood working mastery. Japan has buildings that were built over 1000 years ago, with stand countless earthquakes, and will continue to stand for another thousand years, and have not a single nail holding them together. They were built entirely with hand tools, and no YouTube for guidance! The Japanese have an amazing tradition of harvesting trees for Shoji screens. If you have ever seen a Shoji screen you will notice that they are made of a Conifer species (soft wood such as Fur, Cypress or Pine). Conifer species, as with many species of wood have specific difficulties which the craftsman has to be aware. One of these is the tendency to warp, twist or bend upon environmental changes. You may notice a door in your house that sticks in the summer and then in the winter suddenly stops sticking. This is do to humidity changes in your home. Thus the Shoji screen becomes even more challenging as the small pieces of wood which create the frame and grid pattern are made from a soft, warp prone wood. So how do the Japanese do it!?!?! They simply mark which way the tree was growing when they cut it down. The nature of the tree is to want to channel water from the roots up the trunk and into the outer extremities. If the craftsman were to cut the tree down, mill the lumber, and not keep track of which way the boards were naturally growing there would be trouble! Unfortunately, this technique of felling trees and marking how they grew is nearly a lost art.
You see the Japanese master craftsman makes sure that all the vertical Shoji screen grid muntons are placed so that they are running the same direction they were growing. They have a built in memory of sorts which by nature leads them in a certain direction. There is an absolute nature of each piece which if ignored leads to catastrophic failure. This I believe is where we get the term “ingrained”.
Such is the human being. Each human being has a nature, and it is not what the secular world says it is. We are not animals that learned how to make tools and thus are now the conquering species. We have a unique story, one that most ignore and call mythical. A story that a man named Moshe/Moses wrote down in the Torah. A story that begins all of our current nature with a story about two Humans being Naked and Ashamed.
On to a documentary called “First Contact: Lost Tribe of the Amazon”. In this documentary an anthropologist deep in the Amazon Jungle on the border of Brazil and Peru catches on film, for perhaps the first time in history, a lost tribe making first known contact with the outside world. This people group has a totally native language. It uses the most primitive of hunting techniques and tools. They wore nearly no clothing what so ever, just a small loin cloth. They emerged from the forest scared, and fleeing another group of people who were trying to kill them. The anthropologist and small village helped the tribe relocate there camp and ended up giving them clothing, utensils, plates, cups etc. The most amazing thing happened. Of all the technology and “modern implements” that the emerging tribe encountered the most important to these people were the clothes. They actually stole clothes from the villagers after they observed the villagers wearing them. When the anthropologist asked the tribe’s Chief if he would feel more comfortable going back to the way things were when they were naked. The man said “No, we don’t want to be naked anymore. We were naked and ashamed.”
This is a fascinating statement. Here is a group of people, with no previous connection to the outside world. They were even encouraged by the anthropologist to continue with their way of life, yet they eagerly desired to be clothed because in their own words were ashamed to be naked.
In the very nature of man, with no outside influence, we are naked and ashamed before our creator.
Genesis the 3rd chapter
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool[c] of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”[d] 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
Who told the people of the isolated Amazon tribe they were naked? No one. They knew it intuitively. As humans who are uniquely made in the image of our creator, we know without being told, that something is wrong. That "something" is ourselves. We were originally created in a perfect world, without sin, and then chose to defy our creator and now suffer the consequences of that defiance. Yet there is hope. Our creator took it upon himself to redeem us back to himself. He became flesh and dwelt among us and paid for all the death and destruction which we humans willfully raged and continue to rage upon this earth. There is only one catch. We have to trust Him. We have to place our trust in the fact that He paid the penalty, and conquered death to bring salvation to each and every one of us, IF we accept it.
We are all Naked and Ashamed looking for someone to clothe us. Looking for purpose in life. There is only one source for meaning in life, and salvation from ourselves. Our creator and redeemer. Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah.