Two things going on this week led me to write this post. First for Buckeye fans this is the week of “The Game.” The struggle between the Ohio State Buckeyes and, as Woody Hayes always referred to them, “that team up North.”Also this week I am in the process of reading John Wooden’s new book “A Game Plan For Life.” In the book Coach Wooden talks about the power of mentoring by discussing those individuals he considered his mentors and seven individuals he himself mentored from former players to his great-granddaughter.
So what do these two seemingly disassociated items have in common? And more importantly what do they have to do with a Masonic Game Plan?
I was thinking that some of our brethren are treating Masonry much like some Ohio State fans embrace the week before the Michigan game; that of being intensely interested for a short period of time. The week before “The Game” you hear radio commentators talking about it, current and former players interviewed about its meaning, special shirts, dances, rallies and everyone displaying Ohio State flags, logos and everything else you can think of. There seems to be more fans involved than in previous weeks when Ohio State played other opponents. Some fans must have a Michigan week only game plan and display their loyalty only for that week.
Some Masons receive the degrees, show up at meetings for a while and are immensely enthusiastic. Then somewhere along the line their enthusiasm wanes and you don’t see them anymore. Maybe their “game plan” for Masonry centered around becoming a Mason, displaying the symbols on their lapel and car, participating for a while and then stopped when all the immediate glamor wore off. Maybe they didn’t stop to think of Masonry as a life long plan.
Coach Wooden in his book talks extensively of his father being his first mentor. He relates not only what his father said to him but how deeply he was impacted by how his father lived his life. Coach Wooden said about his father,
“He showed me love, kindness, gentleness, responsibility, and peace of mind. He mentored me with lessons, with actions, and with words so that long before I ever set foot in my first classroom, I already knew both how to learn and how to teach.”
Coach Wooden’s father had a “game plan” that wasn’t used for just a short time but his whole life. When each of his sons completed grade school he gave them a two-dollar bill and a card that on one side was written his seven rules for living:
- Be true to yourself.
- Make each day your masterpiece.
- Help others.
- Drink deeply from good books.
- Make friendship a fine art.
- Build a shelter against a rainy day.
- Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.
As we each endeavor to become better Masonic leaders we should first stop and think about our own “Masonic Game Plan.” It is short lived, like the extra fans that show up and celebrate before “The Game,” or is it like Coach Wooden’s father whose game plan covered his entire life?