The Prodigal Son Returns

Iby Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Brian Schimian

“I am back!”

That's what I was thinking I would say as I returned to my home Lodge after a number of years.  Too many years, to be exact.  I certainly have been making the most of being a “traveling man” lately.  But I am now and forever back in the Chicagoland area.  There were many reason leading me to make a 2,000 mile journey which I will not get into here, or anywhere for that matter.  But the fact remains that, in large thanks to some that transcend the line between friend and family, I am again a midwesterner.  I have experienced many wonderful things in my travels and I have certainly earned a true Master’s Wage.

If any of you don’t know the story of the Prodigal Son, here is a quick recap: The Prodigal Son asked his father for his inheritance before his father passes and in turn squanders it.  He then returns home with the intention of repenting, begging his father to be one of his servants, fully expecting his relationship is likely severed.  The father finds him on the road and immediately welcomes him back.  The older son that stayed and worked for their father refuses to participate.  The father reminds the older son that the son has always been with him and everything the father has belongs to the older son (his inheritance).  But, they should still celebrate the return of the younger son because he was lost and is now found.  This Parable is the third and final part of the redemption cycle.

Now, to clarify, I never ask for nor received any inheritance to squander and I don’t have an older brother or even a family farm.  But I do feel very close to this story of return and redemption.  I walked out of my home Lodge many many years ago with no intention of ever returning, again I will not get into those reasons here, I hold my Obligations higher than I can explain and will not violate them.  This is the Lodge where my Father was Master twice.  The Lodge in which I grew up, literally.  With perhaps not “Originals” in the sense that these guys started the Lodge in the 1800’s, but Originals in the sense that this group of Men were the face of the Lodge for my entire childhood and my Raising. All of these great men I hold in the same regard as a father.  This is truly my Masonic home.

Shortly after returning to the area, I heard that there were some issue within the Lodge and I can’t say I was surprised.  But What I did find interesting is that the Brother getting things back on track, I had met in my Travels.  I also heard that at the next meeting the Lodge was Raising 4 Master Masons.  Well, I hit up Bro. RJ and we made plans to hit the road like the olds days.  For a person with nerves of steel, I was having serious anxiety while I drove us to A. O. Fay #676 in Highland Park, IL.  There were so many questions of what kind of reaction there would be with me walking back through those doors.  Both what I would be feeling and what I would be receiving.  So many parts of that Lodge I helped my father and the Brethren work on, fix up, clean, set up and so on.  So many dinners in the dining hall.  So many installations in the meeting hall.  So many hours spent waiting in the sitting room during meetings as a child.  So many meetings as a Master Mason with those Originals, of which, only one Brother remains.  It was one of the few times in my life when I could have curled into a ball and let the world pass me by.  I walked in with Bro. RJ and the memories began flooding back.  Now I have always felt that I was closer to my God in any Lodge over any Church.  This night I felt closer to those Brothers I have missed for so many years.  I could hear their voices in the halls.  I swear I could smell the gumbo in the kitchen.  I could see them sitting in their regular seats.  I could hear their laughs.  I was truly home.  When I finally found Tony, the last of the Old Guard, we shook hands and embraced like I was holding my own father again.

It was an unbelievable honor to watch my Lodge grow, raising 4 new Master Masons that evening.  We're on the right path and it sounds like I will be taking a seat that was held for many years by another of the OG’s and I couldn't be more honored.  So many things in my future are unknown, but I do know that the Prodigal Son has returned and I have been welcomed accordingly.


Bro. Brian Schimian is Life of Member A.O. Fay #676 in Highland Park Illinois and the Medinah Shriners - Lake County Shrine Club. He was also the Past Master Counselor of DeMolay - Lakes Chapter in 1995. Most recently, Brian became a Companion of the York Rite, joining Waukegan Chapter #41 R.A.M. Brian is a father of two children. You can follow his blog "It is. In God. I do." where he publishes even more excellent content. "Start Square, Finish Level"

1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.