Canoeing the Mountains: Part 9

Loss hurts.

Tod Bolsinger writes this:

When the world is different than we expect, we become disorientated. When the tried-and-true solutions to our problems don’t work, we get stuck. When we are faced with competing values that demand a decision which will inevitably lead to loss, we can get overwhelmed.

What we may be experiencing as loss is likely the result of competing values.

He continues:

For churches, competing values like caring for longtime members versus reaching out to the unchurched, assuring excellence in ministry programming versus increasing participation with more volunteers, giving pay raises to staff versus bringing on a new hire, assuring control and unity versus collaboration and innovation entails conflict about things of equal or near equal value. Because they are both valued, the competition for resources and the decisions that need to be made can put individuals and congregations into a most vulnerable moment.

The day has come when we no longer get to have our cake and eat it too. Difficult decisions will need to be made and, because of those decisions, there will be loss. Win-Win situations are harder to come by and that means that occasionally, we’ll get a Win-Lose situation but, more often than not, it may feel like we are merely navigating Lose-Lose situations.

And yet, we are called to be faithful. Attending to these matters will require the greatest amounts of faithfulness that we can muster. To faithfully walk through a Lose-Lose decision-making process, where our personal feelings are rightfully filled with pain, mourning, and lament…I can think of no greater display of faithfulness.

May faithfulness mark our journey, no matter the cost, and may God be faithful to lead us.

Peace to you,



Canoeing the Mountains: Part 9