I’ve learned a lot of new things these last few weeks. I’ve become much more familiar with the in’s and out’s and security settings of Zoom, how creative I can be when none of the normal routines are in place, how to get vaseline (mostly) out of toddler hair and that caulk left in the garage for over 2 years can go bad before you use it.
In addition to these practical lessons, I have also learned a new term that expresses much of the strangeness of this season of quarantine and pandemic. Up to this point, only those with military experience or in the financial sector during the 2008 crisis may have heard or been familiar with the term “VUCA.” VUCA is an acronym that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. It certainly put some quantifiable words to the haze of discomfort and strangeness I have felt over the past few weeks.
As it turns out, there is also a proposed antidote to VUCA. OODA: Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. While we aren’t talking about political strategy or market performance, as believers this is a process we can use to allow the Lord to use even these strange circumstances to form us to be more like Christ.
One of the benefits of this time has been a sabbatical from extracurricular activity. No doubt many of us are wearing more hats than usual, but we have mostly traded those for the rushed hurry of running from place to place with barely any time to form a reflective thought. Choose to take some time to observe yourself before the Lord.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
- Lord, what fruit is present in my life and what is lacking?
- What have my thoughts, words and actions revealed about my continual need to be “made new?”
- What daily habits are drawing me closer to the Lord? What habits are pulling me away?
Of all the words that comprise “VUCA,” uncertainty is probably the most pervasive. No one seems to be completely sure of anything. When we don’t know what we can count on, we must go to the Only Source of unchanging Truth.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8
There is no shortcut to standing secure in Christ other than through His Word. It’s not something we can gain by osmosis or second-hand from others. Taking time to be daily in God’s Word orients our hearts, minds, and emotions to the solid Truth found only in Jesus Christ.
- Spend daily time in God’s Word.
- Find a group or tool to help you understand, apply and respond to your Bible reading.
- Choose a verse that speaks to your heart during this season and memorize it.
Often we like to have lots of information and data to make a decision but at some point, more data and more information only clouds the process. There comes a time when we just have to make a decision. At the conclusion of the book of Joshua, he stands before the people and recounts all they have seen the Lord do in their midst. They recall their history and remember God’s faithfulness, provision, protection and success, and Joshua tells them the time has come to choose whom they will serve.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
- Ask the Lord if there is a choice you need to make in terms of your time, priorities or trust.
- Commit to a decision and share it with a friend or accountability partner.
If simply making a decision meant instantaneous results we would all have washboard abs, diligent savings plans, and endless patience. But we know that results happen when applied consistently over time. It’s hard not to quote the Nike slogan and say, “Just do it!” Step out in faith in the way the Lord has guided you and trust Him.
“Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
- What step of obedience has the Lord put in front of you today?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to guide and help you as you seek to be obedient.
This antidote is not a one time application, but a continual process the Lord can use to make you a new creation and form Christ’s character in you. In these days, don’t let VUCA define you. Use this pathway of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act to allow the Lord to continually transform you and seek to set the foundation of your life on the Rock of Jesus Christ.