Wallpaper for the Lodge

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Randy Sanders

Wallpaper always seems strange to me.  We put up a decorative pattern on sticky paper with the sole purpose of changing the field of vision.  It is not art.  We take care to hang or display art on our walls or in a particular space.  We put wallpaper on walls to make a statement that we want a texture or design displayed on that wall or in that space.  Maybe it is art?  

In lodge, we also hang wallpaper.  We often refer to it by its other name: a committee.  It’s not actually work, it’s not anything more than a temporary assignment to provide the texture, look, and feel of work.  Committees always feel strange to me just like wallpaper.  The committee is formed as a quick-hit, focus group type of response, yet the committee members are like wallpaper.  They get stuck to the task, and often are repeated time and again, making them the same texture and pattern in the lodge.  

Rather than repeat the same investigation committee, or repeat the same names, let us consider changing the wallpaper.  If we decide not to change the wallpaper, then maybe we change the accents or corner trim.  Some jurisdictions are stricter on who makes up the committees, and if your Grand Lodge tells you to do it a certain way by all means follow the directives.  If you have options then maybe there exists the opportunity to grow.

Last year I volunteered for my home lodge’s audit committee.  Why would I volunteer for a lodge’s audit committee?  My accounting skills are very basic.  The answer lies in the comfort factor or more specifically breaking out of that comfort factor.  I had never performed an audit, much less one focused on the Lodge, and it was a good way for me to step outside that comfort zone.  I learned something new about the business of the lodge by going through the ledger and reports.  I learned money was spent on very necessary items that I never previously considered.  I learned the lesson I needed to learn about doing something seemingly like wallpaper that suddenly made more sense.  

Committees become a transitory means of learning something new or mentoring other Masons in learning those lessons.  Focus on doing the right thing by the Lodge, and encourage new Masons who want to get involved.  Learn your lessons by studying and being the wallpaper.  Then we can reflect that pattern or texture to the newer Masons in mentoring and fraternal discourse.

The wallpaper of your internal lodge is no different.  We all look at ourselves in the mirror and see the texture, the reflection of what we show to the outside world.  We look internally at the wallpaper sometimes forgetting there exists a wall behind it.  Sometimes we hang internal art on our walls by way of symbols we want to identify with or make use of later.  Consider tattoos, piercings, or even different clothes as external reflections of internal art.  

Changing the wallpaper may be as easy as volunteering on the pancake committee or the next green bean social, or maybe we volunteer to assist in other ways.    Changing your internal wallpaper might be just as easy and become a good subject for contemplation.  There is no right or wrong answer, just the continuing question.  What is the wallpaper of your lodge?


Randy and his wife Elyana live near St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Randy earned a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in Telecom IT management. He volunteers as a professional and personal mentor, NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer and enjoys competitive tactical pistol, rifle, and shotgun. He has 30 plus years teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy served as a Logistics Section Chief on two different United States federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams over a 12 year span. Randy is a 32nd degree KCCH and Knight Templar. His Masonic bio includes past Lodge Education Officer for two symbolic lodges, Founder of the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, member of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Education Committee, Sovereign Master of the E. F. Coonrod AMD Council No. 493, Co-Librarian of the Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis, Clerk for the Academy of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, and a Facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. Randy is a founding administrator for Refracted Light, full contributor to Midnight Freemasons, and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy hosts an open ongoing weekly Masonic virtual Happy Hour on Friday evenings. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.

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