I was watching the first episode of Abstract: The Art of Design, a new series on Netflix, with my son. It has been a fantastic show so far. The featured designer in this episode was an illustrator named Christoph Niemann.
During the conversation he was having with us, the audience, Niemann made a statement that struck me. He said, “Change direction when things are good.”
That is profound.
When things are good, we generally want them to stay that way. When things are good, we are afraid that if we change something things might get worse. When things are good, we often do more to protect what we have than to create new opportunities.
This is what it means to be complacent, which is “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”
When I perceive things as good, I avoid acknowledging the realities and dangers that I am surrounded by. I rationalize that my best move is to defend what I have, rather than find new ways to create more. Ironically, in good times, I tend to move toward an economy of scarcity, act like there is a limited amount of “good,” and make sure to protect what little I have acquired.
The best time to reevaluate your options is when you don’t have to.
The best time to create is when you have the resources to build what you imagine.
The best time to move is when you are solidly rooted and have the foundation to branch out from.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but she is a single mom working two jobs and doesn’t have the time or energy to be supportive. Scarcity can be a motivator, but it also triggers the “fight-or-flight” response and narrows our field of vision to survival options.
If we want to create from an infinite range of options, we are better starting from a position of abundance and availability. We must foster a mindset open to change and possibility. We must look for it and learn to see it all around us.
In Psalm 50, we are reminded that God owns everything in the created universe. In Philippians 4, we are admonished not to worry about anything but instead tell God what we need and trust him. The passage then goes on to tell us we can do everything through Christ.
Resources are not scarce for God. We have everything we need, and we have the spark of creativity given to us by the great Creator.
I am very proud of the work we do at Kimray to imagine a future with so many possibilities. The better things get, the more I want us to find new directions and new ways to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
That’s The Kimray Way.