Development: Do More with Less
When you looked at our factory floor, it looked like that scene out of Raider’s of the Lost Ark. Shelves stacked to the ceiling, machines tucked into every nook and cranny, and storage racks packed high like the Beverly Hill Billy’s car. We had maximized our use of the space.
Then we found out we needed a clean room. Not just a space. A room. We needed a whole stinking 40x20 room that we could assemble our systems without getting them dirty. The problem is we do a ton of polishing. That polishing creates a ton of dust. That dust settles like entitled Europeans in the New World. It’s everywhere. Trying to keep it from getting from a system you are assembling would be like trying to keep Homer Simpson away from a donut. Not going to happen. We had to have a clean room.
So we made one.
We built the clean room in the space we had. We ordered a room that came in a box and put that bad boy up like a Lego castle right in the corner of our shop. How did we fit that big structure in that tight space? We played Tetris with our shop.
Using our resources to their highest potential is what we call “development.” By that we mean taking the resources that God has given to us and making the most of them. Why do we do this? Because we believe being creative with the resources God has given us pleases God and brings joy to humans.
Making the Most of What We’re Given
You may have heard it before, but at Mixer Direct we believe the Bible. The Bible teaches that we are to use the earth wisely as good stewards who take care of the gift that was entrusted to us. People call this the “cultural mandate.” They point to Genesis 1:28 which says, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”
Some people will twist this passage to say that humans can do whatever we want with nature. They might say something like, “God gave it to us and so we can use it or abuse it however we want.” However that mindset is an ugly corruption of a beautiful truth.
God gave humans the earth as a gift and the command to “fill the earth and subdue it” which means to develop the earth’s latent potential. To abuse the earth and not make the most of what we are given is to abuse the gift and hate the giver. Think about it. If someone gave you a brand new laptop and you used it for target practice at a gun range, your use of the item not only says something about the item, but it also says something about what you think of the person who gave it to you.
It’s the same way with the earth. We should use the resources that God gives us in ways that are carefully thought out so that we make much of the gift thereby making much of the Giver.
Developing the World Was Meant to Bring Joy
Making the most of the earth means that humans need to be creative with the resources. Some people think this is merely a call to environmental action, and so they only apply the mandate to farmers and big oil companies. However, the cultural mandate is really a way of life. God gave this mandate in order to bring joy to every human’s existence. This means that the cultural mandate is for painters, accountants, IT folks, machinists, and AC repairmen as much as it is for farmers and big oil.
Some people think work is bad and that if the world was perfect that we wouldn’t have to work. However, God gave the cultural mandate to humans before sin entered the world. That means that work is something that is actually a good gift from God.
The gift that God gave us in work is the ability to be creative. When Adam and Eve were given the cultural mandate, the idea was for them to use their brains to solve the problem set before them. Having the problem “subduing the earth” wasn’t a bad thing. In fact having a problem was a good thing because it allowed them to use their creative minds to solve the problem.
Our first parents passed down this innate creative desire to the rest of us. I would agree with Lynn Weiss, author of ADD and Creativity when she says, “Creativity is a rare part of living. It’s fundamental. None of us can squelch our creativity without feeling less than whole, incomplete and depressed.” Or more simply, to be fully human is to be creative.
Now some of you might be thinking, “I don’t do creativity.”
If you have a job, I would say that you do.
Creativity is something that is used at every job any time we work. An accountant has to figure out how the numbers fit together. The IT guy has to learn how the new printer networks. The AC repairman has to figure out why the unit isn’t working. Even the guy stocking shelves at Walmart has to figure out how to get all the items on the shelf. All of those endeavors involve thinking creatively.
The problem comes about when people don’t want to be creative. They just want to get the job done so they can make more money or just go home. This is when oil companies destroy rain forests for profits, when accountants lie and cheat just to make the numbers look better than they should, or when the guy at Walmart just shoves the items on the shelf. When people act in this way, they are missing out on the good life that God has called them to by following the cultural mandate.
This is why we encourage development here at Mixer Direct. We believe that thinking creatively about the problems that we have and making the most of what God has given us glorifies God and gives humans joy. We don’t feel like we have to take care of our resources because we have to or because we’ll get bad press if we don’t or because the EPA will eat our lunch if we mess something up. We pursue development because it helps us to be fully human.