What a weird day and age to be in the craft, don’t you think? A lot of saturation of lodges within a relatively small area. No more following the path with only a few lamps and the light of the full moon as you work your wagon to get to the lodge a long distance away, now we have motor vehicles and at least 3 lodges within 30 min drives from our houses (in many areas). In some area’s you have 2 or even three lodges that meet at the same building just different days. Would that not just blow the mind of the brothers that were in lodge in 1776. Populate the state with so many lodges, each with 100 to 250 members, but cannot get 7 to open, stretching their coffers as thin as they can all the while saying they cannot raise dues because it will stop brothers from coming out to lodge, or god forbid cut their per diem. We often talk about things like which light bulbs to buy and how to pay the bills if raising dues should happen, and then there are other “logistical” issues sometimes discussed likeif someone’s religious beliefs make them a brother or not.
I remember when I petitioned a lodge for degrees, I had no idea what I was doing. “Hi I’m Daniel,” I said as I came into the lodge, man I think I signed a petition for degrees that night, and I think that two out of the three men that signed my petition knew me for a very long time, I mean years so I had that going for me. I was in lodge as-soon-as-can-be, learning verbiage and lines, memorizing catechisms and not really understanding a damn thing of what was going on. Whew! Before I knew it I was a Master Mason, and it was during my third degree that I realized I had missed a lot during my first and second degree. “Man, I wish I could go back and really learn what… wait what? You want me to sit in a chair with a title and special what nots? Ok sure but what about… ok yeah got it, burnt out past masters, ok yes doing it every other time between two guys, right but I need to learn… oh he almost lost his wife because of how much he was doing here, huh… I mean could we just go over… I mean yeah I could be the Intender but what about, you know what never mind.” And here we are now, I have moved WAY out of my jurisdiction, and I am taking my time finding a new lodge here in the great State of Washington, why? Because I am done with the go fast do fast get home fast attitude. Now that I am a more seasoned Master Mason I can go to these lodges here and feel no pressure as long as I am paying my dues at my old lodge. Great part is, they don’t know me, I get to just sit on the sidelines and take it in, because apparently so far, the Midnight Freemasons is not such a big thing here in the Seattle, Washington area.
If you get anything out of this, I beg each and everyone of you, slow down. Take your time and if anyone says they need time, give them time. Be patient, and more importantly, if you are burnt out, the answer is not burning out the new guy coming in, very few three year Master Masons can be successful Past Masters. Also, get out and travel as Master Masons, it amazes me as I travelled to Indiana and Wisconsin lodges when I lived in Illinois to find out that more Master Masons do not get out of their own districts let alone their own lodges, what else did you become a Master Mason for if you do not travel?