Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Masonic Groundhog Day?

Many of the brothers with whom I speak on a regular basis see that there is a repetition at the lodge every month. When I look at my monthly duties I sometimes find myself using that poor choice of words. This usually happens when I am putting together the initial outlines for the notices or minutes and sometimes when I am filling in the ledger or stuffing envelopes. However, that misguided feeling is fleeting.

While I can see why those words are chosen, I tend to disagree with that Groundhog Day assertion and look at the same month over month consistency as the rhythm of the lodge. There are enough things that happen in our lives that come seemingly out of the blue, the same can be said of the lodge as well, that it is rather relaxing to have this annual pattern in place. Each month offers something a little different. Sometimes those differences are obvious while other times you really have to slow down and look at the details.

And that is sometimes what we have to do and what we should do every month… we need to slow down, look at the details, and enjoy the moments that we have together as brothers. Things are constantly changing around us and the slow progress can easily go unnoticed if we keep running through things as fast as we can and assume that every day, month, year is simply just another appearance by Phil. But, even if things stayed the same, it doesn’t mean that we should settle and go through the motions.

There are boundless opportunities for all brothers to enjoy different events, appendant bodies, or simply other lodges. When is the last time you visited another lodge in your district? Jurisdiction? Another state? Another country? And I don’t know about those reading this post but there are a hundred thousand masons in Pennsylvania alone and I certainly haven’t met all of them. I have met a lot of brothers since being raised but certainly not that many.

However, the main thing is that there are some brothers who get into a routine of simply showing up or not showing up. Don’t get me wrong, if you just want to be at the lodge and enjoy the fellowship that is fine but there are many such brothers that see the lodge as unmoving and sometimes stuck in a rut. Honestly, that thought crosses all of our minds at one point or another and I felt the same way at times before I decided to make a personal change and get involved.

That is what it takes. We should have a passion for our fraternity and enjoy our times of fellowship. No mason should feel unwelcomed and no one should be afraid to speak their mind or introduce something new to their fellow brothers. We learn from one another and this is the constant that I seek every month at the lodge. Know your brother as thy self; know your lodge as thy home. This is how we combat that sense of repetitiveness.