Since an early age I struggled just accepting life as it was, with its man-made rules, religion and ‘set ways’ of previous generations. This of course gave my parents grey hair and resulted in me being pointed at as the ‘difficult’ one, especially in Sunday school. What people just didn’t understand is that my reluctance to accept the ‘status quo’ was not out of rebellion but an earnest curiosity to understand precisely what I was asked to believe and accept in life.
This led me on a 10 year journey of self-discovery, and upon the path in search of enlightenment I stumbled across some articles on Freemasonry. The idea of spiritual growth in an environment where men were all seen as equals was something that appealed to me and so I sent through an email to the Provincial Grand Lodge to find out more. Not long after a man contacted me – who is till this day my mentor and friend – and he invited me for an interview. The application process took about 2 months and on 11 June 2014 I was initiated into the greatest order in the world.
Truth be told, even after all the research I have done myself on the rituals and workings within a lodge nothing prepared me for the splendour of my initiation night. I can still remember sitting in a quiet little room beforehand, trembling with anticipation and an equal bit of fear. But as soon as the temple door closed behind me, I knew I was on a path to find that part of myself that has always felt empty and in search of more…
Today, almost 5 years later I am Presiding Master of my lodge and I am proud each time I stand in front of my brethren and see the support, fellowship and brotherly love we show each other. The deep and emotional discussions we can have about the world and our spiritual place in it is something I don’t think can be found anywhere else.
Freemasonry is not for everyone… yes any free man of good repute can apply for membership, but it is really for the man who has always felt an empty place in his heart, without knowing why or where it comes from. It is for those of us who know that the journey to ‘Know Thyself’ is not for the fainthearted as it challenges you as a man and reshapes the imperfect into the perfect.
Freemasonry is not just about being a Mason that one night in your monthly working, but it becomes a way of life for those who truly take it to heart. As the great book teaches us, “Knock and for you shall be opened, search and you shall find.”
In a day and age where empathy, love and moral values are all rare virtues I believe Masonry is one of the last beacons of hope, we have to set an example to all men of how the world should be.
In search for myself I have found a calling to not just improve my own inner life, but those of my fellow men. It makes me stand out amongst the uninitiated and people see ‘something’ different in me by ways of my conduct, actions and way of life. I have become a better man, a better husband and a better father…and I have Freemasonry to thank for that