Leadership Tensions: Intentionality vs. Trust

This might be one of the greatest tensions I personally face as a leader.

Even since I wrote the original list in the series opener, I’ve changed the wording of this tension:

Intensity vs. Passivity

Intensity vs. Intentionality

Intentionality vs. Passivity

Intentionality vs. Whimsy

I landed on Intentionality vs. Trust

I think this tension must be one that a driven achiever most wrestles with.  The drive to constantly accomplish keeps me on the intensity and intentionality side.  I wrestle when I hear messages that convey a more free-spirited nature.

My Grandma, more affectionately know as ‘Nanny’, used to sing a song to me when I was a kid.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

I’m guessing she sang that to me because even at a young age I displayed an intensity and level of focus that was just plain stressful!

There have been points where I’ve wondered if this driven, focused, intense part of myself was simply wrong.  However I could never be quite settled with that because the positive sides of it reflected some elements of God-given gifts and my unique identity.  The tension is employed when my intentionality wrestles with my faith and trust in God.

Sarah Young said it this way in Jesus Calling, “Rather than planning and evaluating, practice trusting and thanking Me continually.”

When I read things like that I’m tempted to believe that I have to throw out all my planning and evaluating.  But that would be abandoning the tension rather than wrestling through it.

For those of us who wrestle with the tension of intentionality vs. trust, we have to position ourselves to trust first.  When a large project or challenge is looming, my nature is to run to organize and structure it – to essentially create the illusion of control.

The better way to wrestle with this tension is to first take it to God in prayer.  Trusting that first bringing it to him will provide the direction that we need.  It’s choosing to release control to him and then using the gifts he’s given us to intentionally work through the challenge.

I used to think that trust meant abdicating any responsibility.  But I really believe trust means choosing God first.

What does Intentionality vs. Trust mean to you?


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  • Margaret October 8, 2012  

    Love the song–do you know where your Nanny learned it from?

    • Jenni Catron October 9, 2012  

      I have no idea where the song came from but I’ll ask her. One of my favorite things about my Nanny is that she’s always singing something.

  • Keropicarlita October 9, 2012  

    I agree with you!! Trusting in God mean he will guide us in the direction we should go with his peace.