Jack just couldn’t get John’s statement about his annual job review out of his mind. After their last meeting Jack had returned home and wrote in his journal about John’s suggestion that he could use the lessons from the Entered Apprentice degree during his performance review.
Jeff, his supervisor, had already said some crazy things about Masonry, so if Jack did present some plan to accomplish his goals and said it came from being a Mason, it probably wouldn’t go over very well. Jack thought maybe the better thing to do when presenting his life plan was to tell Jeff he had begun working with someone who had agreed to be a mentor and leave Masonry out of it. After all it was true, John was becoming someone Jack looked up to and valued his opinions.
Jack was beginning to understand that Masonry wasn’t something you should have to tell people you belong to, it should become apparent you’re a Mason by your actions and behavior.
John had given Jack a manual entitled “Becoming Masonry” at their first meeting. He told Jack this would guide him in writing a personal values statement, a mission statement and a comprehensive personal development plan. The plan will include goals, strategies, and specific action plans for five areas of his life; personal, relationships, Masonic, professional and community.
Jack had just browsed through it once and then tossed it on his desk. He thought he would wait until John mentioned it again, but he didn’t. That was strange Jack thought, John is pretty attentive to details and to give him what appears to be something of importance and then not mention it again, doesn’t make sense.
Jack found out why when he opened the manual again and begin to read the preface. As he read the words the reason became crystal clear.
“This manual was designed to assist a Brother to Become Masonry. It is a guide and the basic framework from which to build your Masonic edifice. To assist you a caring Brother has been assigned as your mentor. He will be your initial source of knowledge and encouragement and will answer any questions you may have about the tasks and responsibilities in this manual.
You may be puzzled why your mentor gave the manual to you, briefly explained it and then never mentioned it again. This was deliberate and intentional. Masonry gives us all wonderful tools to use for building a better life for ourselves and our families. It is up to each Mason to take those tools and use them or not.
Those who use them will truly Become Masonry, and those who don’t have squandered valuable assets. Masonry does not make the choice for you. It is yours.”
Wow, thought Jack, that was a pretty “in your face” statement. But it made sense. He remembered his Uncle Ted telling him that Masonry was something that had great value but he would have to discover it. I guess this was the beginning of discovery.
Jack made an entry in his journal;
“today I learned that I will have to make a choice whether to live as a Mason or not. No one will force me and no one will make me use Masonry’s tools. My Brothers will explain the lessons and mentor me, but it will be up to me to apply them in my life.”
Jack turned back to the manual and the first section entitled “The Journey of Personal Improvement.” In the introductory statement it said this;
“This section is to introduce you to personal development and present you some basic tools to help you get started. Developing yourself personally not only benefits your Lodge by making you a more effective leader, but allows you to improve your family relationships, your professional career and be a more productive person in your community. It also may help you discover your true passion in life and lead you in an entirely different direction. “
The words about discovering your true passion and going in a different direction in life caught Jack’s attention. He knew he didn’t want to stay forever with the company who gave him his first job. He was grateful but he had dreams of something better. Masonry was now going to help him do that.
He had another week before he would sit with Jeff and discuss his performance. He wanted to be ready and had already decided that John’s suggestion of presenting a life plan was a good one. It would take some work to get it done but he knew it was the right thing to do.
He had just started reading the first chapter of the manual “Awareness” when his phone rang. It was his Aunt Betsy and in a panicked voice told him his Uncle Ted had been rushed to the hospital with an apparent heart attack. Jack threw on some clothes and was out the door in a few minutes.
Next: Brotherly Love