by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Randy Sanders
The other evening, I browsed across Chuck Dunning’s YouTube Channel: Contemplative Builder. That’s not unusual as I often find nuggets for my contemplative meditations. Still, this particular time I listened again to his short presentation entitled Personal Ritual: A Contemplative Tool for Masonry Beyond the Lodge. One of the items catching my attention struck me as it hadn’t before. Brother Chuck noted the ritual of stepping into the Lodge room as a distinct meaningful action of personal ritual.
We remind ourselves the Lodge is a sacred place, a space in which we set aside the outside world so that we may mix together in friendship and brotherly love. A place where the mystic tie binds us together, and brings connection and fulfillment. This is our space. This is our Lodge.
It struck a chord within me that we enter Freemasonry on a step, and we enter the Lodge every meeting with one step across the threshold of the outer door. What does that mean to you? What feelings come to mind when you enter the Lodge and see your Brothers? All too often I find myself stepping across that threshold immediately looking forward to shaking hands with my Lodge Brothers and visitors, renewing that greeting, and picking up fraternity with those I hadn’t seen in a while.
In actuality, it remains a simple step forward, but symbolically we cross a threshold into the sacred space we create. We consecrate our Masonic Temples to Deity, we learn lessons in morality and virtue, and we help each other to become better humans through brotherly love, relief, and truth. Stepping into that sacred space is a gift, a blessing if you will, and everything we do or say inside that sacred space is worthy of contemplation.
I still want to shake everyone’s hand. That is just a part of my upbringing, and I want to connect with every Mason attending Lodge that evening. After listening again to that presentation, I now see I also want to focus on what that step across the threshold means every time I make that step. I want to explore this realization in additional ways by considering my interactions with every piece of the Lodge from the officer stations to the furnishings of the Lodge and everything in between.
Sometimes we might consider a door or a threshold as a veil, and crossing that veil is something we should never take lightly.
Randy and his wife Elyana live near St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Randy earned a bachelor's 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 of 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, a 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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