The night before AGM, I went for Ado with S and O. I had only reflected on a single generic question: what is community to me at this point in time?
Lest my direct response appear to be jaded, I must preface it with the motherhood (but no less true) context. People who know me know how quickly I get drained by group interactions. LOG is that special: I don’t just feel comfortable with you guys, I feel at home. This is most apparent when I come back from overseas. I may not like certain people, and I am definitely not Friends with many people; but I love all of you. And the elitist part of me is secretly proud of both our unity and our differences. It is against this backdrop – of LOG’s significance to my faith and my life – that I set out my more specific response below.
At this phase of my life, I have somewhat relegated LOG to the periphery of my life: it is more an obligation than a passion. I do not chafe at going for sharings, sessions, or sendoffs; but I also do not have the spontaneous fire to contribute.
I blame work, of course. And the commodification of time – that absolutely finite resource. The non-office hours are scarce and the weekends are precious. And I am not one who can cast aside the urgent for the important: I still have Catechism, Mass Infographic, and IOS AA. And then I have to exercise, to watch movies and read books, to discern about humanitarian work. As a result, I have nothing left to give to the supererogatory events and efforts like random suppers, games, and unassigned journeying.
My presence is all I can offer. Correspondingly, LOG’s presence is all I expect. For me, that is enough. For now.
That was what I wrote before AGM. By the time AGM ended, I had not shared any of it.
The augury of how selfish I would realise the above-written to be came right at the start. Just from the preliminary check-in during the pre-AGM Spiritual Prep, voices cracked and tears welled up. So many of us are struggling. So many of us are exhausted. So many of us are lonely. Who am I to be so self-centred?
When S asked us to put a small item on one of the 9 fruits that we identified with, I proudly placed my newly minted namecard on top of Gentleness. I did not realise at that time just how much of a tension it would be to ground the violence of the office on the meekness of the Spirit.
In the wake of AGM, I understand a little more of how gently it is that God calls me to magis. I went into AGM all ready to limit my contributions and my commitments, and to account for my frugality. Between the court and the client, there is really little left for community. And if I said no, if I turned away, that would be the end of the matter. God’s perfect plan for LOG would unfold without me.
But if I said yes, if I shared my five loaves and two fishes, then somehow, I don’t know how, there will be more. Not because I will it, but because God wills it. How do we carry so much at a time? How do we hold so much in tension?
Only God knows.