Living A Life That's Too Small

by Midnight Freemasons Founder
Todd E. Creason, 33°

One thing you learn when you petition a Lodge of Freemasons, is that there are a lot of steps involved. The petition is submitted. It sits for a predetermined period of time. It’s voted on. 1st degree. Things to learn. 2nd degree. Things to learn. You get the idea. It’s methodical steps, and each step is intentional. It’s part of the process. Some steps give the lodge time to be intentional with a decision about whether to admit a candidate or not. Some steps are so the candidate learns everything he needs to know to advance to the next level with the knowledge he needs to do so.

When I was in school, video games were huge. It was the 80s, and I spend a great deal of time, and all of my resources (allowance, mowing money, etc.) one quarter at a time. Of course video games are all set up the same way. Hard in the beginning, but it gets easier as you become proficient in the skills required, and once you’ve got the skills mastered for that level, you go on to the next level—and that level is harder and usually requires additional skills. Hour after hour, and quarter after quarter, I’d get to higher and higher levels in the game. And in that era, that meant starting at the beginning very often and going through all the levels you’d already mastered. Those lower levels that challenged me in the beginning, were nothing to get through now. Inevitably however, something would always happen. I’d either reach the final level of the game, or I’d get to the point that the game was no longer challenging me anymore and I’d go looking for a new game to play.

Life is the same way. We always need new challenges to keep it interesting. We need to develop new skills to get to the next level.

That’s what brought me to Freemasonry in the beginning. I was looking for something I didn’t have. I was looking for new experiences. I was looking for new skills. I was looking for ways in which I could improve myself and contribute more to the community than I had been. I was looking for a different way to live my life because I’d been on the same level for too long. And I found everything I was looking for. I got over my fear of public speaking that had held me back for years. I found a voice in writing and have written six books (soon to be seven). I’ve learned leadership skills. I’ve made innumerable friends. And I’ve learned what one person with a good idea is capable of accomplishing—moreover, what one person with an idea and a group of friends willing to help is capable of accomplishing.  As we quickly approach 3 millions readers, The Midnight Freemasons blog is a good example of what my original idea, and a lot of help and hard work (and excellent writing) from my friends can accomplish. Freemasonry has taught me over and over again that like many others, I underestimate the impact and the potential of the individual. We make good men better, and we do that by helping to bring out the hidden talents and abilities of the one.

I don’t think I know a single person that is completely happy with where they’re at—that includes all the Freemasons I know. I think it’s almost universal for us to feel as if we want more out of the few years we live on this earth. But too often, especially when you get to be my age, we get to a level we’re comfortable with, and we stay there. We get the job we wanted. We get the house we wanted. We have the spouse and the kids and the dog and the yard, and we say to ourselves “well, that’s everything I set out to get in life.” And we stay there. And as happy as we may be in that place, part of us misses the challenge of getting there. There’s a part of us that knows there’s still more to be done and still more to be experienced in life.

It really is up to you how far you get . . .
It seems counter-intuitive, but mankind was built to be challenged, to be tested, and to keep growing. Just like in those video games, we have a built in desire to see what’s at the next level. Living a life that’s too small for us inevitable leads to future regret. It’s not the things we’ve done in life that we wind up regretting in the end. It’s the things we didn’t do.


Todd E. Creason, 33° is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor. He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. He is the author of the From Labor to Refreshment blog. He is a Past Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL) where he currently serves as Secretary. He is the Past Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR). He is a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282 where he currently serves as EHP. He represents the Grand Lodge of Illinois A.F. & A.M. as the Eastern Area Education Officer. He is also a member of Tuscola Odd Fellows Lodge No. 316. You can contact him at:

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