One of the most difficult things that confront many of us on a daily basis is the constant and often rapid changes that take place in society. We must remember that in our daily contact with people, we are not dealing with an audience but rather with a parade of people that is constantly changing. Some people are passing from the scene while others again are only making their first appearance.
It is the same in our Fraternity and while we honour and respect those brethren who have laboured diligently and are passing their prime, we must accept, embrace and assist those brethren who have just arrived and are still striving to reach theirs.
Many men join our Fraternity with fire and vigour and with the desire to become better men and good Freemasons. Sadly in some cases the fire dies, the vigour evaporates and they fade from the scene before they have achieved these goals and so they become part of the passing parade.
This is often because we are faced with certain truths which we are not prepared to accept. Just like the operative Masons of years gone by who built the soaring cathedrals in which we worship God and which we still admire today, so we must understand that our Masonic labours are first and foremost the smoothing and thereafter the polishing of the symbolic rough ashlar (which is of course ourselves), the better for it to fit in the Great Architectís design. Our Masonic labours are therefore only a means to an end and not the end itself.
The true Freemason eventually learns and accepts that his great mission begins in his own home and with his family and his closest friends, many of whom will probably not be Freemasons. He must impart the lessons which he has learnt from his study of the VSL and he must practice the moral qualities of truthfulness, honour, integrity, charity, appreciation, forgiveness and love which he had learnt from these lessons and from his interaction with Freemasons in general and with the brethren in his Lodge in particular, having due regard to the frailties of those brethren who are still striving to learn and accept these lessons.
Remember that the more you give, the more you get; the more you laugh, the less you fret; the more that you for others care, the more you will have in life to spare; the more you love, the more you will find that life is good and friends are kind; for it is only what you give away, that will enrich you from day to day.
One's work in this life is never over until the end thereof, which end is determined by and is in the loving hands of the GAOTU. And so we ask : Where does time go in its endless flight? Summer turns to winter and day turns to night as years come and go. Where they go, we do not know. But God, who planned our life on earth and gave our mind and body birth and then enclosed a living soul with Heaven as the spirit's goal; has given man the gift of choice to follow that small inner voice that speaks to us from year to year, reminding us that we've naught to fear as long as we believe and trust in Him: for each year is but a stepping stone to endless joys, yet unknown.
Are you therefore a rock which will withstand the ravages and the passage of time and which can be used to build a cathedral to the honour and glory of the GAOTU, or are you just passing through?
R Wor Bro John Smith
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