Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Third Masonic Birthday!

While I usually write about what is currently going on and sometimes complain about some of the things that have come up during the previous week, this post is a little different. This is not a post about the lodge, this is a much more personal essay as today I celebrate my masonic birthday and look back at the drastic changes that have taken place in my life over those past three years. It is hard to believe that it has already been three years but, at the same time, it seems like I have been a part of the lodge for much longer and known the brethren for my entire life.

I can still remember the day in the summer of 2012 when I decided to take a chance and I walked through the doors of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to inquire about becoming a mason. I had just finished my morning meetings and I decided to finally act on my desire to learn more. That meeting was the turning point for me as I was no longer simply thinking about becoming a mason but was actually doing something about it.

In the following weeks I sat down with my uncle both to ask a few questions and to have him sign my petition. This was soon followed by a meeting with one of the trustees of the lodge (coordinated by the Grand Lodge) who both took the time to get to know me and gave me a tour of the lodge itself. As the months passed things slowly fell into place as I sat down the committee of inquiry (along with my wife) and simply talked about life and why I had decided to become a mason.

My reasons were quite simple… Freemasonry is a part of my family history and it is something far greater than myself. The connections that we have as brothers is something that I have been seeking for some time and something that too few people truly appreciate. Additionally, it allows me to be myself, strengths and flaws, while still being supported by my brothers. But, at the same time, we are held accountable for our actions and guided by one another to ensure that we continue to follow the right path. We are equal but unique and all striving to be better men.

Unfortunately, due to the chaos that was my work schedule at the time, it wasn’t until the one day class on April 27, 2013 when I was finally able to receive my degrees. However, I did make it a habit to join the lodge for dinner every month leading up to my degree conferrals. I will never forget having my uncle sitting on one side and my mentor (with whom I had been speaking with for months prior) on the other. It was a feeling of having my family with me and a means of introducing me to an extended family… all over the course of a Saturday morning.

As soon as I was raised, I began getting more and more involved at lodge. I immediately starting pursuing my Master Builder Award, received my 32nd degree through Scottish Rite, and was elected Secretary in December of that same year. It was already proving to be quite the journey and quite the change all within the first 8 months of becoming a mason. And while it has been difficult at times to get up to speed on certain things (especially since I was a participant in a one day class), the support I immediately received from my brothers constantly reassured me that I made one of the best decisions in my life when I decided to become a Mason.

Throughout the past three years, I have been proud of my association with Freemasonry and the work that we have done at the lodge. This fraternity has introduced me to experiences, people, places, and events that have proven to be invaluable moments in my life. It is also something that has given me a greater purpose both during those first few months when life was a bit up in the air but also in the years since as I have continued to look for ways to include my family and in my attempts to leave at least a small legacy for my son.

While there are certainly times that I have been guilty of complacency and there have been moments when I have had to make tough decisions, there is not much that I would change about my life. And while most of the moments in my life that I will continue to cherish involve family there are also many moments that meet that criteria that would have never been possible had I not taken the chance and decided to take action by walking into the Grand Lodge that day in the summer of 2012. Most Masons know that it is the first three that form the foundation to your masonic life. Well, I am now three years in with decades to go!