Business writers often talk about the difference between problems and tensions. You solve problems. You manage tensions. We’re wired to look for solutions and to find answer to what we believe are problems. Life in a complex world, however, means that a lot of our most important decisions (and much of our work) revolve around learning to tell the difference between a problem and a tension and acting accordingly.
As a missionary I raise financial support to allow me to do the work God has called me to. As a missionary to the university campus, I live, work, and raise financial support on my “mission field.” It could be easy for me to conceive of raising support as a problem that needs to be solved rather than a polarity to be managed. After all, if I raise all the support I need to cover my ministry budget I’ll be free to spend 100% of my time meeting with students and faculty, preparing talks, investing continuing education, etc. Won’t I?