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Response to a VUCA World By Dr. Zenet Maramara

The Steward Leader’s Response to a VUCA World

What is the steward’s response to such a time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) of the world around us?

The persistent presence of Covid-19 virus may make you may feel like a prisoner of the pandemic. Or maybe you live in a comfortable bubble, oblivious of the suffering of thousands in other parts of the world. Those are two extreme reactions to the present predicament we all face due to the continuing pandemic.

As stewards and managers of organizations, our response to the current crisis  affects- the people around us, not to mention, our personal well-being.

Learning from the Past

I learned one important life lesson from my former MBA teacher, who last month succumbed to Covid-19.  Agnes survived cancer for 20 years but a little virus took her life. She taught us that there are two only two things in this world—those we can control and those that we cannot control. According to her, knowing the difference will reduce the amount of stress, anxiety and energy on our part and allow us to focus on those things that we can control.

Obviously, you cannot fully control the current pandemic even if you practice proper pandemic protocol. Only God can.

Since God is the sovereign controller, we can focus on him and seek his mercy and compassion.

“You who seek the Lord, let your hearts revive for the Lord hears the needy and not despise his own people who are prisoners” (Ps.69.33).

Inside the Word

Like the captive Israelites in the time of the psalmist, we can look up to God’s steadfast love. He can set us free from anxiety, frustration and powerlessness.

Like David, who, despite his dire situation from those who want him dead, he looked up to God, and burst in praise of him. He enjoins the heavens and the earth and every living thing that dwell in them to praise God. Confident of his intimate knowledge of God and his faithfulness, David was sure that the Lord will preserve his own people and allow generations after them to dwell safely in the land.

We may live in this so-called VUCA world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, but for the steward who is intimate with God, we know that his plan is perfect. This all-wise, all-powerful and ever-present God is controlling and sustaining the universe, even if it seems like a VUCA world.

The Steward’s Response

As stewards of God, let us proclaim to the whole world that God reigns. His power, his wisdom, and his presence rule this VUCA world!

It is time to give up control to the creator and owner of the universe. We cannot continue the lie of the enemy that we can live and manage on our own and conquer and gain the whole world. Pause and reflect on what God is asking you to do at such a time as this.

“Behold, now is the favorable time, behold now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2.)


Dr. Zenet Maramara is the founder/president of Christian Stewardship Association and the chairman of Christians in Conservation, an A Rocha associated project. She was a professor of biblical stewardship at Asian Theological Seminary and former director of the ATS Strategic Leader Development. She organized and directed the MBA in Biblical Stewardship and Christian Management program of ATS.


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