Plenty of Time to Think
The last several weeks have created plenty of time for serious reflection and introspection. One of the many things I have contemplated in my sequestration is the impact that Freemasonry has had on my life. I am not overreaching when I say that it has allowed me to meet new people, encouraged me to have new experiences, and enriched my perspective of life.
I am amazed not only at the number, but also the variety, of new friendships I have made in the fraternity, many of which are “among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance”. I have formed friendships with men, and their wives, who are older than me, younger than me, more prosperous than me, and some less fortunate than me. I have developed fraternal bonds with men who have contrasting political viewpoints and others with different religious perspectives. I recall a time I was working with the Greenville #143 Craft Club, grilling marinated pork chops for the Third District’s Grand Master’s reception. When the meal concluded, then Grand Master, James Easterling, noted that the meat had been cooked by a jeweler, a blacksmith, a coroner’s investigator, and a teacher. He remarked that no where else other than Freemasonry would those four men come together.
Through my Masonic associations I have had abundant opportunities to be involved in a variety of experiences. Traveling in blue lodge and participating in Scottish Rite has exposed me to events and places that have truly enriched me. I’ve had occasion to see and do many things that I would not have access to or interest in without my fraternal connections.
At the heart of this all are the lessons, insights, and inspirations of the fraternity. Freemasonry and its symbolism, its allegories, and its inculcations have imprinted upon my mind “wise and serious truths”. The craft has touched my heart and enriched my mind. I believe it has brought me closer to my Creator, as well as myself.
Throughout my reflections I have been reminded of a section of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”:
… and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I hope that all my brethren have gained as much from their masonic endeavors as I have from mine!