|The lifeguard made Larry stand well back from the edge of the swimming pool--for obvious reasons.|
Fortunately, those misguided Masons are few and far between--most Freemasons get it. They don't work as hard as they do for rewards, they do the work because they believe what they are doing is important and it matters to them. They learn ritual. They serve as mentors. They volunteer. They teach. They train. They inspire others. They know when to step forward and help, and when to step back and let a new Mason try something for the first time. They travel to the funerals of Masons they didn't know well, or didn't know at all because that's what we do.
|Sean McBride and WM Todd Creason (2010)|
And do you know what that means when they feel that way upon being rewarded? It means they do deserve the recognition because they weren't doing it for selfish reasons.
I have a very nice Past Master's apron that my wife bought me after I left the East. I wear it humbly, because even though my wife paid for it, the opportunity to serve in that capacity was a gift given to me by the Brethren of my Lodge. Five years after I was raised a Master Mason in that Lodge, the Brethren of that same Lodge entrusted me to serve them as their Worshipful Master. And during the time I spent in the East, not one single thing did I accomplish alone--but together we (my Brothers and I) accomplished much.
I hope one day to have the privilege to sit in the East again, because it's not wearing the fancy Past Master apron that matters the most to me--it was the opportunity to serve my Lodge to the best of my ability.
Todd E. Creason, is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and continues to be a regular contributor. He is also the author of the From Labor to Refreshment blog, where he posts on a regular schedule on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is the author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. He is a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and currently serves as Secretary, and is also a member of Homer Lodge No. 199. He is a member the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, the York Rite Bodies of Champaign/Urbana (IL), the Ansar Shrine (IL), Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees, Charter President of the Illini High Twelve in Champaign-Urbana (IL), and a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research. He was recently awarded the 2014 Illinois Secretary of the Year Award by the Illinois Masonic Secretaries Association. You can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org