As I advance in my Masonic life, I've had the opportunity to discover other Masonic writers who continue to help me advance in my knowledge, such as James Tresner, Art De Hoyos, and Mike Poll. I am also blessed to be a member of the Midnight Freemasons, who continue to influence me to expand on my own writings and to hone my craft.
While I sat there basking in the glow of my self reflection, I began to think about all the emails, private messages and comments on my posts. There have been so many kind words from Brethren, who have approached me when attending lodge. Their words gave me the realization that it is those people, who love what we do, that influence me to continue writing. I write for the men and women who keep this Fraternity alive everyday.
When I think of the men (and women) who influence me and motivate me to sit down at my keyboard, they are the folks who spend their morning drive to work, trying to memorize a certain piece of ritual for a degree they have been asked to participate in. These are men who want to do their best, not out of their own pride, but to honor the candidate who will be conducted through that degree. Chances are people will pass by him on his lunch break sitting alone in a quiet corner of his workplace, as he sits eating a sandwich. He appears like he is mumbling to himself to make sure he still remembered what he had learned on his drive to work and will finally commit the piece to memory on his way home. Tomorrow he will begin his drive with a new section as the sun rises in the east to open and govern the day.
I’m also influenced by the Masons wife who supports her husbands Masonic journey, even if she doesn’t understand it all. She says she doesn’t mind spending evenings at home alone with the kids as he attends his never ending meetings. She trusts him even when her man rushes towards the door, in response to a car horn, with only an explanation of “It’s lodge stuff” as he kisses her cheek and hurries out the door.
She probably even laughs to herself as she helps him learn all that “secret stuff” in that book he always seems to have with him. Little of it makes sense to her but she loves to encourage him in something he loves to do. She doesn’t even mind helping to cook and clean in the lodge kitchen with the other wives while the men quickly leave dirty dishes on the tables as they rush into their lodge room.
Her friends may think she’s crazy putting up with all that “Masonic stuff”, but deep in her heart she knows everything he is doing was in an attempt to be a better husband, father and man. That’s something her friends can’t say about their husbands. I want my writings to help him on his journey for her and their family.
I also find influence from those Brethren who help the elderly. Whether it is taking them to a doctors appointment or to the grocery store because they can’t drive anymore. Maybe even fixing a leaky roof for a man who served the Craft for many years, but due to his advanced age has trouble getting around as well as he used to.
The only payment a Brother receives as a result of their charity work is the satisfaction in seeing the smile on a widows face as she is told her heating bill has been taken care of. That relief of knowing she won’t have to spend another cold winter bundled up as the cold wind blows outside. These men, who understand the true definition of Masonic charity, influence me to keep writing even though there might be a tear in my eye as I type.
It is ultimately about the men and women who make this Fraternity work from day to day, despite being tired or weary, and who continue to make this Fraternity work, despite the lack of new membership. They do this in spite of the people who, for their own mercenary motives, say we are going extinct, that we are devil worshippers, or even slander our good name among the profane. They know the truth of what we stand for and will continue to labor in the quarries until that day the Grand Master of the Universe tells them to lay down their working tools and enter into eternal rest.
These men are my biggest influencers. The men that despite everything; grumpy Past Masters, Grand lodge red tape, trying to serve in multiple offices whatever makes them think about walking away from Freemasonry but continues on, who doesn’t quit. Those are my biggest influencers. As long as they don’t quit and continue to be Freemasons, I will continue to write. Thank you Brethren for all you do.