I sat and watched a man hold his little girl the other day. He was sitting next to his beautiful wife and he as fulfilled, happy, and enriched. He was also tired. Tired in the way that only a new dad can be.
I sat with that same Brother years ago when he said that he would never marry, never have children and never share his life to that degree with anyone.
I sat with that same Brother through his proficiencies and we have become great friends.
I had asked him once, “what changed so much?” He gave me a one word response at first, and at the time, it was enough because I understood exactly what he meant. He said, “Masonry.”
Many men come to Masonry for many different reasons. This Brother felt spiritual, but not religious. He wanted something more, was not sure what, but felt that maybe he could find some like minded men among the confines of the lodge. He did, but he found much more than he bargained.
When we allow Masonry to work, it works wonders. Like any working tool of the Great Architect, how it is used and how we change are often a surprise to us. All find what is needed, if they allow for it, but what was needed is not often what was wanted.
Sometime later that Brother would tell me, “Masonry taught me that I can give myself to others, that I can, give others what they need because I realize the importance of that need to them and worry much less of its effects on me. God has blessed me, I can do for others without losing myself.” He remains a rock of integrity with a truly giving heart and disposition. He is a changed man, but the ashlar he sought was not in anyway the ashlar he got.
I sought to be a member of my Grandfather’s lodge, to feel closer to him.
When I joined I was a fundamentalist Lutheran who was pretty sure most people outside of the LCMS were going to hell. I wanted something my Grandfather had. I was certain it could only enriched my Lutheran faith.
For me, Masonry allowed me to meet, to know and to love men of varied faiths. Heaven become a lot larger and hell a lot smaller. I was eventually forbidden membership in the church of my youth. Not something I sought or ever imagined.
But I am a better man for it. God’s love has become a bigger part of my life, than God’s wrath. I have noticed that when my God loves, I can likewise love. I remember that when my God hated, I likewise hated.
I hear often from men, “How do you find the time?” They are speaking in reference to my activities within Freemasonry and balancing this with family, work, church, etc.
You must meditate to find the time to meditate. You must practice Freemasonry to find Freemasonry in your life.
I want to live in a world where integrity is prized more than wealth. Where “how” to help is a bigger question than “if” you are going to help.
I know of few places that integrity and a handshake mean trust, love and hope like they do within the Masonic lodge and I would love to live in a world where it did.
That my Brothers is the Relevance of Masonry in a world of war, upheaval and distrust.