Past Due Balances

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Brian Schimian

I don’t know how everyone feels, but I would assume that most people are of the same mindset that carrying a balance with a creditor makes them uneasy.  If you think I am talking about financial transactions you are partially correct.  I hate debt, with a passion.  However, the monetary type is not the context of this article.  What I want to ask you, the reader, is what do you do with the Moral Debt that you accrue with others.  Sure some instances are easily handled in a “this for that” justification, but what of those debts that we run up that can not be repaid?

If you read my piece on The Midnight Freemasons for Mother’s Day, then you know that we begin our being indebted to our mothers.  They care for us within their own body and nurture us from the same.  I guess that is why I hold mothers in such high regard.  To me there is not much greater or noble a purpose than to bring another life into this world.  As a paramedic, I delivered my share of babies in the ambulance, (I blame my partner for not driving fast enough to the hospital) I have even delivered one in a home.  What can I say, some things in life are on their own time schedule.  All the joy that comes from that, or even having my own kids pales in comparison to being the one that carries us into this world.  People say that pregnant women “glow”, well I don’t think that the glowing goes away after delivery.  There is just something unbelievably beautiful about a loving and caring mother that I can not find the words to explain.  This is certainly a debt that is in no way able to be repaid, no matter what you may do or how hard you may try.  How do you even this account when you can not repay it?

Then there are your father’s and the other great men that come into your life.  I owe every sense of the man that I am to my father, his father and the Brethren that came in to my life long ago.  The skills, wisdom and advice that they imparted while trying to shape you into manhood and make sure you take a good path in life, rings up a tab beyond your ability to payback.  How do you reconcile that before their time in this life is over?

If you want to know who your REAL friends are, go through some serious troubles.  The ones that stand next to you while you are taking direct fire, or hold you up for that matter, are your REAL friends.  You will be amazed at how short that list gets in a hurry.  It is understandable that given certain situations, some people may feel that a sense of self preservation or “not wanting to get involved” is more persuasive than the need to help a friend.  That is fine, but it is the people that just cut and run at the first sign of trouble that amaze me. The ones that prove they are willing to stay by your side no matter what, those are the ones that really matter going forward in life.  I know I have a few friends that stuck by me when the waters ran deep and cold.  Most assuredly I would not be here today if it was not for them.  They may or may not know the extent of the debt that I feel I have on the ledger with them, but I know it.  If they needed an organ transplant I would be the first one in line getting tested to see if I was a match.  If they need a kidney and I had one left, they could have it, no regrets.  Even after giving them the gift of continuing their life, I would still leave this world with a debt due to them.  How do you make good on that kind of note?

What of our fraternal family?  This Craft has done more for me than I can put into words.  The friendships and true family that I have found through virtue of being a Mason is astounding.  I have Brothers all across this great Country that I have been beyond blessed to have met and accepted by.  And I look forward to meeting so many more, as I have no plans to stop traveling in foreign lands.  There is no possible way to even begin paying down that debt.

There is another type of debt relationship out there.  If you are familiar with the Movie “Gone In 60 Seconds” , then you are familiar with the term “Eleanor”.  Not the car, but the idea that there is this one tangible thing in your life that, no matter how hard you try or how good you think the decisions you are making are right, you just can not get it right. Usually that ONE person in the world that you meet and there is just a draw or a need to be involved with them, at any level?  You see them for the first time and you feel like you have known them for hundreds of years?  Either meeting through work, groups, friends or just seeing them from across a room you get this feeling of a deeper, almost celestial connection.  We just seemed to have this bond, there was never boredom, no matter how long we talked into the night.  There was only excitement and that weird butterfly feeling when we got to see each other.  All seemed to be right with the world when we were together.  Through the Craft, I found my Eleanor.  I just was too young and dumb to realize what I had and I let her go 20 years ago.  Literally, the one singular regret I have in my entire life is letting her go and not maintaining some sort of relationship with her.  After a feeling of just needing to find my Eleanor, just to see how she was and what she was up to, I started to look around and see what I could find.  Every tip and trick I knew led me nowhere.  Every so often I would try again, but it wasn’t until I told one of my best friends about it in a casual conversation then suddenly, my Eleanor is back in my life.  And she is even more beautiful now than she was before.  Funny part, we picked up right where we left as though 20 years ago was yesterday.

I do not know if I will ever be able to repair the damage I have done.  I don’t know if I am even worthy of the relationship that we have now, I certainly don’t feel as though I am.  I felt that I was out of my league 20 years ago, I am not sure if I am even on the same planet today.  There are some that say sometimes just being there is enough.  I do not believe it to be enough, but it is a good start against the debt I have.  

I have received good council from a Brother that I know understands the Celestial nature of the way things work in this world, especially because I know he has his own Eleanor.  “Everything happens for a reason.  We may not be sure that reason yet, but I am sure it has something to do with the tribulations everyone must go through in order to be worthy for each-other and not undervalue the things we do have in our lives.”

I am very accepting of this explanation and look forward to whatever type of relationship I can reforge moving forward.  I would like to think that all my journeys and education throughout my Masonic life has prepared me to be the person that I should be.  The person that my family and friends need me to be.  I try to apply the lessons and uses of the working tools every day in everything I do.  I have learned to subdue my passions, live on the Level, by the Square and of the Plumb.  Making sure to take equal measure for service to God & the Craft, to Work and to have refreshment.  I may not have the perfect Ashlar yet, but it is certainly more refined and a better foundation today than it was decades ago.  To say the least, I am governing myself accordingly.

I will continue to forge forward, attempting to pay down the debts that I have accrued, knowing full well that I may never be able to balance the ledger before that time when I am called to that inner chamber of Temple by Supreme Architect of the Universe.  I will bear that burden for eternity.

Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be.  Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.


Bro. Brian Schimian is Life of Member A.O. Fay #676 in Highland Park Illinois and the Medinah Shriners - Lake County Shrine Club. Bro. Brian became a Companion of the Royal Arch Masons in 2014 and was also the Past Master Counselor of DeMolay - Lakes Chapter in 1995. Brian is a father of two children."Start Square, Finish Level"

1 comment:

  1. What are the debts you are carrying that you can never repay?