This week’s contributor saw my r/freemasonry post asking for submissions. He emailed me, introduced himself, and offered to toss his hat into the ring, and for that I am very thankful. He is relatively fresh from the quarry, having been raised within the last year. Since then, his Masonic journey has been quite a ride, which you will see from his submission. Please welcome Bro. William F. Johnson III to Contributor’s Corner.
I sure thought I was busy.
The day before I was initiated, I thought my life was packed full of commitments. As a married father of four children, a full time software engineering student, and a professional, working upwards of 70 hours a week, I sure thought my plate was full. It didn’t take me long to realize that my radar for what a life full of commitments actually meant, was distorted.
After I was initiated I began down the path many of us walk when we join the Lodge in a jurisdiction where the catechisms are actively taught, mentor to student. I began spending my work lunch hours at the home of a Brother. Instead of eating lunch, we were studying. As an Entered Apprentice, I was only allowed to attend one meeting a month. My Mother Lodge opened the second meeting of the month in a Master’s Degree, which obviously, I could not attend. This was not too much of a committment. I simply cut out my lunch hour, and added a 2 hour meeting a month to my schedule.
Then I was raised; the flood gates opened. Now, this wasn’t the typically situation where I was inundated with petitions for appendant bodies. I was itching to get involved, so I dove into all things masonic, headfirst. It was not long before two of my three boys joined the local DeMolay chapter. Soon afterwords they were installed as Junior Warden and Senior Steward of the chapter, respectively. Then, in an effort to expose my wife to a group of women who were moral and could identify with her life as the wife of a Freemason, we joined Eastern Star. Soon after that, I submitted a petition to join the local Royal Arch Chapter. Within a couple months, my mentor was more active in a different local lodge, so I took a plural membership in his lodge. Oh, did I forget to mention my Mother Lodge appointed me lodge historian?
In the span of twelve short months, Masonry had gone from something simple I was interested in to a major part of my life. Now, all I do is work, attend school, spend time with my family, and attend some sort of lodge function. I have resolved myself to not joining or becoming involved in anything else (I recently declined a Shrine petition) until I have completed all the York Rite degrees and decided what level of involvement I would have with them.
Then it hit me. I had experienced, first hand, the inadvertant changes brought on by the Common Gavel. I did not have many vices, but boy did I have some superfluities within my life. My newfound hobby, which had become my newfound passion had slowly but surely forced me to cut out all the frivolous parts of my life which had no value. No more video games. No more trips to my buddy’s house for a UFC event. No more time spent vegging out in front of the television binge watching some show on Netflix. No more afternoon naps on my off days. I no longer had time for anything that was not important to my family, my vocation, my church, or my lodge.
I quickly focused on time management and prioritized that which meant most to me and mine. I quickly took stock of what I had time for within the lodge and other related organizations. Even at 35 years old, I found I still had time to do a little growing up, and I am a better man for it.
The moral of the story is not to purposely overload your plate, but consider what your time is invested in. If it is something superfluous, then that sound you hear may very well be the sound of the Common Gavel swinging. It is for your benefit, trust me.
William F. Johnson III
Nederland Lodge #1368
Cosmopolitan Lodge #872
Port Neches Royal Arch Chapter #436
Order of the Eastern Star #1079
To read more from Bro. William, check out his blog where he discusses his conversion from Atheism to Christianity.
Thank you Bro. William Johnson for you contribution this week!
If you would like to be the next contributor, send me an email. I hope you will.