On the Threshold

By Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Mike Hambrecht

I, like many of you, began my journey into Freemasonry by filling out a petition. I started my petition request because I wanted to know all about those conspiracy secrets. It was last August, when I emailed in my request. I heard back from, what would become my lodge, on October 15, 2015. When I heard back, I was shocked. I had actually begun to believe that I was not going to be allowed to join. You see my lodge goes dark for July and August, then they work the county fair for early September. So you see, no one was actually around to read my request until their October meeting.

Well, I called the member of my lodge who had emailed me back about my interest and that phone call changed everything for me. We spoke at some length about what Freemasonry does, what this lodge does and what is required of a man to be a mason. What struck me first, was the requirement to believe in a God, even though discussions of religion and politics are not allowed in a lodge. Knowing that I had to swear to a belief in a God, a higher being, got me thinking. I won’t go into all the details here but I had not really “believed” in anything Godlike for some time. I didn’t really disbelieve either. I just gave up on all that around the time of my divorce and never went back, even though I am now happily married. Well, I began to ask myself "...can I lie to the Masons just to learn their secrets?" I honestly didn’t know what I intended to do at that moment.

This eventually led me to really research Freemasonry. What I found excited me more than any conspiracy theory ever could. I found a brotherhood of good men trying to make themselves, their communities and their world better. I found centuries of history. I found connections to multiple religions and cultures. I found a place of learning.

The areas that my research had led me, had me thirsting for even more, and I found it. First, I found it on the Whence Came You podcast and from there, I got hooked on  The Winding Stairs and then on to The Masonic Roundtable. Eventually I branched out to other podcasts, The Tyler’s Place, After Lodge, In the Chair, X-Oriente and The Craftsman. What I got from all of these podcasts was a glut of different kinds of information. However, it wasn’t just the information I got but the awakening of my mind.

More precisely, it was the opening of my mind. One example they opened my mind to for example; my sister-in-law does Reiki and even when she first showed it to me several years ago, I thought it was hokey. All of that mystical mumbo jumbo, touchy, feely, and life energies, magnetism and synergy healing arts were nothing but some con game magic act. However, after listening to these brothers talk about the esoterics of Freemasonry, my mind was opened and when my employer offered me an opportunity to be in a body energies and heartfelt living / healing experience, I went. I not only went but was ready to believe and not debunk it. I found things happening that I could not explain but I found myself learning about these different ideas and how they worked. I had already begun to change just from these little encounters with Freemasonry.

Through it all I found myself asking do I still believe in a God as I knew I once did. I picked up my bible and read several different passages out of both the old and the new testament, including those read for each of the three degrees and found myself saying yes I still believe. So, I decided to go ahead with filling out a petition.

During my investigation, I did tell them of my original intentions for joining. Then I explained how I had begun researching Freemasonry and found something far more exciting than the National Treasure or pentagrams on the road map of Washington DC or a plan to rule the world from behind the scenes. I told them that I found a way to make a change in who I was, in who I had become and who I wanted to be. The lodge soon voted on my petition and I was accepted. When I found out, I was so excited.

I was initiated on January 13, 2016. What happened, within me, that night is enough for another article but what I have gained so far has given me so much more than I could have imagined while lying in bed one night watching TV show about Freemasonry’s conspiracies.

Bro. Mike Hambrecht was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on April 20, 2016 in Village Lodge #274 F & AM in Burton, Ohio. He has since joined the Royal Arch, Willoughby Royal Arch Chapter #231 also in Burton, Ohio and received all four degrees in a one-day session before his lodge and chapter went dark for the summer. He is currently working to get a Beehive Club going in his lodge. He works in the IT field and has a wife, daughter, three dogs, and two cats. For those who are interested his Dalmatian, Lance was on Dave Lettermen for dock diving.

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