Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Bold in Work, The SundayMonday Tuesday Archives

I’m officially back at work after two glorious weeks on the beach, and my current project is to help design a portfolio strategy for a public organization. As I was putting together the slide deck outline yesterday, one of the partners suggested I include a page that says, at the very top: “The World is VUCA.”

VUCA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. The following slides outlined all the ways that the world is changing (both within and beyond business): the economy, global tensions, war, population shifts, and on and on, all leading to why right now is the time to develop your portfolio strategy before it gets any worse.

Looking at these slides made me laugh (probably not their intended purpose), because when hasn’t the world been “VUCA”? Has there been any point, literally ever, when things were calm, certain, simple, and clear? From the very moment of the Fall, things have been falling apart. What makes right now so special?

One of our biggest temptations is to believe that we are in control. We want it so badly because it is difficult to live calmly when things feel volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. We crave plans and calendars and crystal balls so that we don’t have to ride the crazy waves that inevitably hit us, sometimes even daily, and throw us from our preconceived and tightly held plans.

And so I am not blaming the person who decided to over-index on VUCA and make ten glossy slides about the threats we’re facing, because they’re not wrong. It can drive someone crazy trying to stay afloat in all this uncertainty. And one solution might be a comprehensive portfolio strategy: diversify away! But the other solution is one that we all already have, it’s a person, and it’s Who our Gospel was about this weekend.

“I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep… I know mine and mine know me.” 

We don’t have to live like it’s us against the wolves, sprinting around a pasture dodging and ducking their attacks. No – we have a Good Shepherd who loves us, protects us, guides us, and leads us. Because of this, we are free to play. To be free. To release the heavy burden of the world in all of its VUCA-ness and instead rest in the arms of the One who loves us and knows us better than we love and know ourselves.

I’m not saying that life isn’t hard, and that it won’t knock us to our knees every once in a while. But I do believe that we are given this image of the Good Shepherd to remember that we don’t have to do it alone; we don’t have to be afraid.

John 10:10 is one of my very favorite verses, and it’s one I return to whenever I need the reminder of the Good Shepherd’s nearness:

A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.

I don’t know what uncertainty or fear you’re sitting with today, but I pray you can remember that God has ABUNDANT life for us. He is taking care of everything!

In Christ,


What I’m loving lately

How to Let God Speak to You 

You know I love Fr. Columba, and this podcast (YouTube video linked here) was such a refreshing reminder about “hearing” versus “listening” to God.

Eberjey Pajamas

My bestie got me these pjs for my birthday and I’m OBSESSED! Would be a great Mother’s Day present 🙂

Tortured Poets Society Review

Here is my hot take on this album: Taylor is on her way to becoming Catholic… Another (!!) reference to the Holy Ghost, a song called “Guilty as Sin,” wanting a priest to exorcise her past demons in “The Black Dog,” struggling with what could be a “curse” in “The Prophecy”… It sounds like girly has been dealing with some spiritual attacks and she’s over it. I think the Holy Spirit is moving!! Pray for Taylor!

Spring is here!!

It is truly the best when the weather changes and it gets warm and wonderful!! But two requests for you all: 1. How do you dodge mosquitoes? They come for me every year and they’re already making little attacks; please share any advice on how to keep them away! and 2. My allergies this year are insane!! I’m usually an Allegra girl but it doesn’t seem to be working… anything working for y’all?

Prayer requests

  • For the soul of Timothy Han
  • For the soul of Rick Mittel
  • For Lauren and Brian who just welcomed baby Luke!

    More Like This

    “Abba Father!”

    “Abba Father!”

    This past Sunday's readings are some of my all-time favorites. I was GIDDY reading them in preparation for mass. I will never, ever tire of reflecting on the reality of God the Father. ​ I felt an initial pull to get to know God the Father more intimately about a year...

    Jane Kennedy

    Jane Kennedy

    Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.

    Pin It on Pinterest