This week’s contributor previously submitted to Contributor’s Corner a month ago and sent me an email while I was traveling to the east (coast) last week, letting me know that he would like to submit again. Of course, I said yes, but as I was out of state and only had intermittent access to the blog, I asked him if I could postpone posting until today. So, here it is: the very welcome second contribution from Bro. William F. Johnson III.
Contributor’s Corner: Bro. William F. Johnson III
I am a Nerd. A Masonic Nerd.
Because of this, I am well equipped to enjoy my time in The Craft. There are so many things historical and esoteric within our little hobby, I have a never ending to-do list. I have a backlog of podcasts, magazines, websites, books and other types of media related to masonry that I “need” to explore. It seems like I add to my backlog faster than I can consume the information.
This is a good thing. I have discovered resources like the umpteen Facebook groups from which I could pick and choose what I would expose myself to. I found a wonderful masonic community on Reddit which allowed me to explore the viewpoints and jurisdictional differences of Masons from literally around the world. I found some great podcasts in the form of The Masonic Roundtable, The Winding Stairs, Whence Came You and X-Oriente where I have discovered even more masonic subjects I would not have had I sat in the same chair I always sit in when in Lodge.
I used these resources to improve myself in masonry. By this method I have managed to expand masonry for myself beyond my little Lodge. A past master of my Mother lodge once told me that “masonry is bigger than just this Lodge.” Boy, was he right. The masonry that I was exposed to in my Mother lodge was beautiful. The fellowship is something like I have experienced nowhere else. I learn new life lessons from the Work nearly every time I attend a degree. I grew as a person within the first few months.
That being said, I grew exponentially as a Brother when I allowed myself to expand masonry beyond the four walls of that Lodge. Visiting other lodges was a huge part of it, but visiting other sources of information was the next step. It was akin to going off to college. When a child leaves high school and his home, and then ventures out into the world, he gets to put everything his parents and his schooling have taught him to the test.
When you venture outside of your lodge and into areas which you are unfamiliar with, you grow as a Brother. When you expose yourself to other Masonic jurisdictions and other traveling men, you get a chance to see how other Brothers view the Craft. This is an invaluable experience, one you are depriving yourself of if you choose to simply sit in the same chair at every meeting, year in and year out. Masonry will always be confined to that chair. Your ability to improve yourself within in it will be limited.
Step outside Brethren.
William F. Johnson III
Nederland Lodge #1368
Cosmopolitan Lodge #872
Port Neches Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry #436
Nederland Order of the Eastern Star #1079