Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Coal Away From The Fire

I enjoyed a very nice conversation the other night with a very good friend and current WM of a local lodge the other evening while we waited for loved ones to finish what they were doing. He told me of what was going on in his lodge and I listened with as much interest and empathy as only one who has served his lodge can understand. The strange thing about the whole chat, was that for the first time in many years the attentive ear my friend received was as far from being an active mason as it has ever been. I have been as far away from a lodge as I have ever been since I have written this blog and I am not sure of how I feel about it.
There are many factors that have led to my hiatus, including finally finding a very challenging and time consuming job, along with the usual constraints of being a father of three with a wife who works full time also, along with some other heavy baggage that you may be full aware. All of these things have led to my not going to my lodge or any other lodge for that matter. I am still a Freemason, a very proud one at that, I still wear my masonic ring everyday and answer the usual questions that comes with wearing such regalia but the farther I get away from going to lodge regularly the more I begin to ask the question of what it is I gained from regular attendance.
This question in my mind makes the Past Master in me shiver to my essence. When I was the one trying to get the brethren out to every stated communication or to the various events that were planned, I would think that the brothers that weren't there had somehow fallen off the wagon, masonically speaking, or had lost what it is that makes us an order. It was a very narrow minded thought but it is definitely one that every dedicated officer has at every poorly attended gathering.
The further I get away from regular attendance, the more I have garnered the question of what it is that makes us "Free" masons. Was slavish devotion to our home lodge thought of when the masonic order was developed? Is the lodge we are raised in the end all be all of our masonic existence, or were we meant  to be the traveling men we call ourselves? These are tough questions, but I have no doubt that many brothers like myself have found themselves at a masonic crossroad where they have found these questions echoing in their head.
I have not the answer, I travel on.
What have you discovered?