As we approach our coming Fellowcraft degrees this summer I find myself musing on some recurring lessons in our degrees. Most especially of finding balance in all things. The point within a circle admonishes us that our duties will require touching upon both the extremes of left and right, summer and winter, John the Baptist and John the Evangelist; as well as the ideal, middle path of the Volume of Sacred Law. How hard it can be to do just that thing, weigh all sides equally, know the ideal, and still pursue what we think best. A nautical rhyme comes to mind, meant to admonish the sailor to be prudent whenever at sea and in dispute over right of way:
“Here lies the body of Michael O’Day Who died defending his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sailed along But just as dead as if he’d been wrong.”
The consequences of intransigence are regrettably more obvious at sea than they might be in life. Thankfully we have all been imbued with the knowledge of virtue, we all believe in the Great Architect and marvel at his masterful works – even those which confound and frustrate us – and accept that these conflicts are born not of the imperfections of others, but of our own incomplete knowledge of God. And further thankful am I that Masonry teaches us how to set aside our differences and focus on our common, great and good work.
Be well, Brethren. I look forward to your company and wisdom throughout this August.