It's The Journey
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro Brian J. Schimian
Genesis 2:7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
When it comes to our everyday life, we seem to become defined by where we have come from and eventually where we end up. What we seem to neglect, day after day, is where we are now. At the base our existence in this world, we are all born into it and we all leave it. Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes. But what should define us, what should motivate each and every one of us is the “Here & Now”. Living for today. Existing in the “right now”. This is not meant for one to discount your past or fail to study history, but we should not dwell in the past. This can lead to overwhelming depression and more importantly, forgetting to live for today. By being aware of history one can appropriately prepare for or alter the future. But we must be sure not to dwell in fear of the future as well, lest we be consumed by anxiety and miss what is happening right now.
This concept can be as simple as never moving past the guilt of a lost loved one, or feelings of, “if I just would have… maybe then this would be different.” Or expecting an important phone call later in the day. You waste all day waiting for that one call, losing any possible productivity. I know what some will say, “but it is an important call and if I miss it then [this] may happen." That is living in the future. Preparing for something in the future is part of the Here & Now. But sitting by the phone and wasting the day is not. Some may be asking, “what about when the phone rings?” Simple, answer it. Because the phone is ringing in the Here & Now. You don’t hold the phone to your ear all day, waiting for it to ring.
To the people that live Here & Now, time is precious. They do not foolishly ignore their own past or fail to prepare for the future, rather they are aware and alive in the present and look forward to the future. Living in the past or in fear of the future prohibits one form being spontaneous or making choices from the full spectrum of life. A spontaneous person is liberated, making and accepting responsibility for personal choices. There is no compulsion to live a predetermined lifestyle and instead faces new situations and explores new ways of thinking. They do not have to respond in predetermined, rigid ways, but can change their plans when the situation changes. Living in the Here & Now gives you a zest for life, allows you to enjoy your labors, play, food and other people. If one is full of guilt or envy, they can not appreciate their own accomplishments or those of others. Life, or your journey, can be destroyed by focusing on past memories or future expectations. Those that reject this awareness and spontaneity also reject the responsibility for shaping their own lives.
Matthew 6:34, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Early Egyptian’s believed that a circle was the symbol of eternity. A sign that life, happiness, and love, have no beginning and no end. This is often depicted with the image of a snake eating its own tail. The smallest part of the snake is the head and you can not see the end of the tail because it is in its own mouth. The majority of the picture is the length of the body of the snake, the in-between. The beginning and the end are relatively irrelevant.
This is as much important to the individual as it is to Freemasonry. From the onset of one’s beginning in their pathway to enlightenment, first a candidate must fill out a petition, that is a spontaneous act. Then in each of the three degrees, do we not circumambulate the lodge room on a journey, learning the lessons of our Craft along the way. In terms of the time after attaining the sublime degree of Master Mason, the journey simply does not stop. We are told to continue to investigate for ourselves the deeper meaning and the best way to properly use the tools of a Speculative Mason. Masonry is not something we can take off with our suit coat and put upon the shelf unit the next meeting. It becomes a part of us in our every day life. Much like the rough ashlar, it never truly gains perfection, for if it did, you would have no need for Freemasonry, and Freemasonry would have no need for you. Figuratively, once the stone is perfect, it leaves the Mason’s hand and is set into the wall, never to be altered again.
Remember from whence you came, strive to be better and meet your goals at the end of the day, but always remember to pay attention to your journey. For that is where the real experience and bounty of a Master’s Wage lies.
Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
“Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
~St. Francis of Assisi~