About a year ago I broke down and bought myself a GPS device for my car. What a Godsend. You see I am terrible at directions. You would not believe the number of hours that I have spent in various cities and towns throughout our state trying to get to a Lodge building, church, community center, or some other building where I needed to be.
Although I would never dream of setting out on one of these journeys without directions, which were usually a map and turn-by-turn directions from Map Quest, invariably there would be a street sign that wasn’t clearly marked, or a fork in the road that I was not expecting. When one of these happened (and they always did) I would have to make a decision about which way to turn, whether I had gone too far or not far enough, and at what point was I going to admit that I was LOST.
Now when I am going somewhere, not only do I have the map and directions, but they are located where I can clearly see them, AND there is a nice lady that tells me where to turn, how far to go, and when I have arrived at my destination. Even more amazing, when I do make a mistake, she tells me something is wrong and helps me get back on track, so I am once again headed in the right direction and the effect of my error is minimized. This like I said, it’s a Godsend.
Life is a journey. We start off with a destination we hope to arrive at. Although the specific destination to which each of us is traveling is individual and personal, there are a few points that are pretty common.
We want to be happy, we want to make a positive difference in our communities, and at the end of our lives we want to be embraced by the Great Architect of the Universe and given a seat of honour in his Grand Lodge. But our journey is not very simple.
The road we are on is not straight and will not take us directly to our destination. We need to make many turns along the way and we will encounter several forks in the road.
Having a map and good directions are critical. We receive these from our families, our education, and our faith in God.
We, as Masons, have another advantage, a GPS, if you will, provided in part by the Three Great Lights in Masonry. But the most effective component of that GPS is our Brethren. They stand at every corner, intersection, and fork in the road to point us in the right direction. If we should make a wrong turn, they are there to whisper in our ear, reminding us of where we are trying to go, and guiding us back to the correct route. And while we are making those corrections, they defend our character if anyone should question it.
You see, the most important benefit we have as Freemasons is the Love & Fellowship of our Brethren.
Our various rituals, ceremonies and symbols, as powerful and effective as they are at imprinting on our minds all of the moral lessons of our Craft, are not nearly as significant to our successful journey through life as the love of our Brethren, working together to strengthen each other, their families, and their community.
That is truly a GODSEND.
R.W. Bro. Michael Sanders
Junior Grand Warden (2009) Grand Lodge of Washington F&AM.
I believe that, as we start this New Year, Bro. Sanders words are incredibly appropriate and meaningful.
We are all on this personal spiritual journey from the Rough to the Smooth Ashlar, however the support and direction of a fellow brother can often assist in smoothing the way.
I believe the word “Fraternity” says it all. We are all in this together!!!!! God Bless.