Is Your Personal Ledger In Balance?
The Grand Lodge Charitable Foundation, an IRS-approved 501(c)3 charity, was founded in 1994 by then Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Thomas D. Zahler. Since then, the Grand Lodge has been able to assist over 600 Masons, widows or nonmembers with over $875,000.00. I have read some very heart breaking pleas for assistance, wishing we could do more for the requester. Our ability to help is limited by the fund’s balance.
The Grand Lodge Officers will attest that I tend to whine a lot about pittance received from all the lodges as donations into the charity foundation. Thank goodness for a good investment over the years so the fund could grow. But, I recently received a letter from a member which made my day.
A new Brother Mason sent a personal donation for the Grand Lodge Charitable Foundation. Attached, was a note. He stated that he received his Master Mason Degree only a few months ago, and how proud he was to be a Mason. Our lessons and ethical teachings had made a lasting impact on him and his life. He said in these uncertain difficult times he knew that he would remain working and have an income. But, he was certain that others, particularly Brother Masons, would lose their jobs and find themselves in financial straits. So, please accept the donation and he would continue to help as much as he could. The amount of his contribution is irrelevant. It was his attitude. I showed his note to everyone in the office and to the Grand Lodge Officers. He made my day and for a short time, I stopped whining.
But, his action gave me pause to reflect. “Is my personal lodger in balance”? Over my years as being a Mason I have received so much in terms of “income” from the fraternity. Income not in terms of money, but in terms of values, ethics, morality, fellowship, and opportunity. These are all assets in my personal ledger. What have I done on the “expense” side of my ledger?
Hmmm, have acts of generosity and compassion been offset by episodes of greed or intolerance? To strike a balance, have we asked for forgiveness? Do we turn toward, and not away from, those in need? Is the weight of our acts of virtue heavier than the burdens and heartaches possibly imposed on others?
What have I done with that which has been given me? Now, in this time of uncertainty is a good time to reflect on that question.
May our personal ledgers be in balance when that “final audit” is performed.
Until we meet again, God Bless.
C. Michael Watson, PGM
Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Ohio