The Importance of a Meeting

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
WB Robert E. Jackson

When is my next meeting? Ugh, that's too far out. I need to find a meeting. This day was complete crap, work is driving me nuts, family pressures are surmounting, and tax season. Arrgh! Great, I found a meeting, show up, there is coffee, some sweets, and people that I can speak with openly and trust not to judge me for my indiscretions.

Growing up in a household plagued with addictions, the discussion of 'finding a meeting' happened at least monthly, but not always the same person. The purpose for finding the meeting, however, is always the same. Things are going rough in life. Heightened stress and anxiety, pushing you to take another drink. Once in that meeting, though, you are surrounded by people who care about you, and your success in sobriety. People that will accept you, no matter what you've done, recognizing how difficult it was simply to be there, and that you're there for one reason, to improve yourself in sobriety. See any parallels? I'm hoping so…

This week was rough. I'm still not sure why. Any number of things can contribute to an 'off' day. The demands of Lodge, Scouts, Work, Family can ebb and flow on their own cycles. When those things add up though, sometimes life's challenges can seem insurmountable. Almost like a tidal wave of responsibilities and expectations, ready to knock you on your ass no matter how hard you try to stay on your feet. These are the times, when I need a meeting.

Last night, my Masonic District had our monthly Lodge of Instruction. Officers from around the district gather at one of our Lodges for a program assembled by our Grand Lodge. In the past, these programs have centered around a PowerPoint presentation, very similar to the presentation received the year before. Lately, however, the programs have become more interactive. Discussions of topics ranging from various interpretations of the circumpunct, to creating a value proposition for the Lodge. Last night's discussion was a great reflection on whether or not we were living up to the promise and ideals of Masonry. In the course of a few hours, I went from wondering how the world would be impacted if I simply drove into a telephone pole, to being excited about the prospects of our beloved Fraternity and its impact on our culture. None of my Brothers knew about my mental state walking into the meeting, but just by being there, by being my Brothers, they lifted me up yet again.

I'm not looking for a pitty-party, or any sympathy, with this paper. I have been incredibly fortunate in my life, and I fully understand that my trials are insignificant compared to many. However, I felt it important to tell this story for a couple of reasons. We all have our own struggles, and sometimes it can be really difficult to find a way out. Finding a meeting may help more than you know. Additionally, when you are sitting in Lodge, make that effort to reach out to a Brother. It doesn't have to be much…a simple handshake or compassionate smile may be all it takes to save a Brothers life.


Robert Edward Jackson is a Past and presiding Master of Montgomery Lodge located in Milford, MA. His Masonic lineage includes his Father (Robert Maitland), Grandfather (Maitland Garrecht), and Great Grandfather (Edward Henry Jackson), a founding member of Scarsdale Lodge #1094 in Scarsdale, NY. When not studying ritual, he's busy being a father to his three kids, a husband, Boy Scout Leader, and a network engineer to pay for it all. He can be reached at .

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