The Mason in the Mirror
Approaching the anniversary of my father’s passing to that Grand Celestial Lodge above, I reflected on what I am doing to keep his legacy alive. I think back on the seeds of knowledge he deposited in my youth thru my adolescent years. I had a fertile mind and a willing field to cultivate. I grew to what I believed was passed his wisdom. I realize now that I was not humble enough to listen and take his advice to heart. He was an elder man desperately trying to pass his wisdom into a foolishly closed mind. I regret selectively taking his phone calls and not listening to him as often as I should have. Once the word is gone all you have are memories and a few token jewels.
Recently I went thru what possessions of his I have retained. They reminded me of what a great man and loving father he was. In his office he displayed an old foam board copy of "The Guy in the Glass" by Dale Wimbrow. I keep it in my workshop so I can be reminded of him and his honest approach to life. I know deep down how proud my father would be of who I have become as a man, a Mason, and a father. I often wish I could see my father on the sidelines during Lodge to admire the hard work my fellow officers and I put in to continually improve our Lodge. I am sad that he is not there. I am equally discouraged that far too many weeks there are no Brethren filling the sidelines. We all understand that life happens and our priorities change. Our Lodge is our home; a place for both spiritual and philosophical enlightenment; a place where we exchange fellowship between Brethren.
I challenge each and every Mason to look at that man in the mirror. Reflect on your zeal for the institution that caused you to desire light. Have you discovered all that you wish from being a Mason? Are you still in pursuit of becoming that perfect ashlar? What have you done to enrich the lives of those around you? Have you stretched your cable-tow lately? Being a Mason is not just a title but most importantly, a way of life. We are all brothers tied to the bindings of the exact same book we pledged our allegiance. I am steadfast to the belief that I can improve myself daily and lessen the burden of those in need. I am not assuming that your journey is not that of a noble path. I welcome each and every Brother who is willing to sacrifice their time to enlighten our Lodge collectively before, during and after our meetings. Share with us your life journey. Help us explore how to improve our Lodge. Help us make Rocky River 703 a place where our friends and family can be raised as opposed to familiar memories of something once great that had been neglected.
I have a huge step to make next year as I proceed to the East. I will need the support of all my Brethren. There is an impressive increase of new petitions and plural members looking to join our Lodge. I would like for them to have a welcome and exciting experience. It is all too easy to dismiss past experience as working knowledge. Our Lodge has a repository of vast untapped wisdom that is begging to be passed down. Masonic teachings consistently remind us of the power of hope. I am hopeful that we can grow our Lodge so it can prosper and be great again. It all begins with an honest look at that Mason in the mirror.
William P. Ritley, Senior Warden