Thursday, January 31, 2008

From Souls to Sales

I visited Lingkod Office last night. But first, a little history for the new visitors of this blog. For the old-timers, you may want to skip the next paragraph, for I will just be repeating what I've written about several times already.

Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon is a national movement for single young professionals, and I've been an active member since the year 2000. I left my job in 2005 to be a full-time volunteer mission worker at the Lingkod National Office. My volunteer work ended on December 2006. Last year, 2007, was a long journey of finding myself: after-Lingkod, after-staffer life, after-everything. Now I'm with CD Asia, not entirely practicing as a lawyer, based on the common notion of the suit-wearing, attache case-bearing attorney, but selling products and services to lawyers and other professionals.

So about last night, I scheduled a catch-up dinner with a good friend who had graciously stayed on as a full-time Lingkod staffer, Regine. Since she had so much work to do (taking on what 4 people used to accomplish), Regine asked me to pass by the office first before our dinner.

I had to pause before replying to her text. Normally I would want to visit Lingkod office - to see old friends and familiar surroundings. But for the past several days, I'd been having some withdrawal symptoms about my Lingkod service. I missed it, them, me, when I was still a Lingkod member and then staffer. I had conversations with God on my morning drive to work that consisted of endless why's as to heart's desires and reality bites.

Regine's invitation came at a time when I wasn't emotionally prepared to visit Lingkod. I wanted my visit to be full of life, for me to be the classic ex-staffer, bringing in food and cheer to the holy people serving the Lord through Lingkod mission work, 24-7. Instead, as I pictured myself entering the familiar door, I couldn't fight back tears.

I had no choice, however, but to wait for Regine in the office. Thinking the others would have gone home anyway and I didn't have to bring pasalubong or snacks anymore, I proceeded to the office, empty-handed. I found my old parking spot waiting for me. The security guard, thankfully, recognized my face, although he had to ask me for my name again. I had mixed feelings as I walked through the mini-garden and went up the stairs.

This Used to be My Playground, sung by Madonna for the film "A League of Their Own", played in my head. Such drama.

When I opened the door, a new office layout greeted me. Full-time and volunteer staffers welcomed me with hugs and smiles. I was glad to see the improvements they had made in the office layout. I sat on my old chair and touched my old table. I tried to look at every nook and cranny of the office, which as Administrator I used to know by heart.

The brothers and sisters commented that I looked like I was enjoying my new job. They asked our company, which had been a close ally of Lingkod all these years, to sponsor a fundraising concert by Bukas Palad on February 16 at Clarkfield in Pampanga. (Please view the promotional video here). Two Lingkod members talked business with me, asking me to demonstrate our products' features and to explain our services.

I was there and yet I wasn't there.

I went home late last night and had a short time of reflection. Of course, I still had not found myself, or at least, the box that I wanted to put myself neatly in. No longer a staffer, I had yet to embrace my new job. Really. God reminded me of His word to me - "Own it. Claim it. I was the One who gave it to you."

I begged the Lord's indulgence once more, to give me a little more time before I could fully embrace, claim, and own my new life as a person who was not in charge of winning souls , but of closing sales. After giving so much of myself to Lingkod, I could not as easily offer the same amount of my heart, mind, soul, and strength to another endeavor, no matter how worthwhile.

I told myself to remember that it is the same God behind everything, and it is to Him I should give my all. That wherever and whomever He calls , He enables. That He has spoken and His Word is true. My head knows this. My heart is taking a longer time to follow.

I'm grateful that the Lord is ever patient in waiting for me. For us. So I tread on without understanding, or knowing, what lies ahead, or what the big picture is. I walk carefully the path that is before me, and leave everything in the hands of The One to whom I belong.

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