VUCA apparently has been around awhile – first taught at the Army war college. However, it is now circulating among businesses, leadership, and even church circles, as a means of preparation and expectation.
Clearly, our recent pandemic illustrates the relevancy and reality of VUCA, an acrostic for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.
We can, without doubt, expect these things to always be present, always relevant, and always something we must do our best to prepare for.
However, so often our desire for an opposite reality forces us to almost live with blinders to these factors and almost ignore them. As a result, so many fail to plan, fail to prepare, and fail to live-out the axiom, “hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst”.
Good stewardship is just that – risk management and working to be prepared and ready – it’s holding the sword and the shovel at the same time. Like Nehemiah rebuilding the wall – he was prepared to work, and to defend, all while remaining focused on family, faith, and fellowship.
This is hard work and honestly, it forces us to face the ugliness of a fallen world and flawed people.
A cynic has been described as merely a wounded optimist, and that may be so. We all long for peace, purity, passion, purpose, prosperity, protection, provision, and positivity, but so often we receive, and may even distribute, the opposite. Granted, it may be unintentional at times, yet the sting still hurts and threatens to harden our hearts – if allowed.
Thus, in some ways, we can become rebellious to the facts and live for the moment, the day, and any immediate gratification we can – thereby failing to take action for preparedness and putting forth the effort to face squarely against the giant trying to intimidate us. Rather, we run away and to the more pleasurable things.
This is where the power of our faith is so beneficial. Instead of trying to ignore, run from, reject, or allowing the hardships in life to dampen our days, we can expect them, and do our best to be prepared for them. While not lingering on them, we do acknowledge their reality and our need to respond in faith – not fear.
Like a football player, they expect to be hit a they aren’t surprised when tackled and don’t try to pretend it doesn’t happen. They prepare for it.
Likewise, there are many things we can do to help us do the same in life.
We can respond to the volatility with vision, to the uncertainty with understanding, to the complexity with clarity, and to the ambiguity with agility.
For example, financially speaking, we can commit to saving for emergencies, as well as for retirement. We can also stop living financially beyond our means, and maxing out our credit on acquisitions. We can look into life insurance to help our loved ones in case of our injury, or death. And we can establish a will and/or trust – for this is not only for the wealthy.
Lastly, as it relates to the broader, and frankly, the most important areas of our life, such as our faith and families, we can commit to end sacrificing these areas for the false security of cynicism, self indulgence, and immediate gratification.
Rather, when we seek Christ first above all things, we discover the healing of our hearts allows us to love freely, without the anxiety, obligation, paranoia, or attachments that so often serve to entangle us to run from responsible stewardship and towards the worldly matters of self distraction and sedation.