When I took on the job of Worshipful Master 7 months ago, I had a lot of pie-in-the-sky ideas for Freemasonry in general and my lodge in particular. A lot of things that, frankly, scared me to think about accomplishing. The mountain is the most frightening from the bottom.
But when I started to break these down into individual tasks for the lodge instead of looking at the year as a whole, it all kept coming back to one question, “why not?”
Can I personally reach out to every member of the lodge this year via postcard/mail? Why not?
Can I add an element of Masonic education to every lodge meeting, without fail? Why not?
Can I bring in a high profile speaker from another state to speak at our meeting on a Masonic topic? Why not?
Can we accomplish the myriad of items to achieve the Grand Master’s Award for Pennsylvania? Why not? (Still working on this one, it’s trending favorably though.)
The inspiration for this writing comes from our distric picnic that only concluded a few hours ago. The temple where we meet for our monthly district School of Instructions has a pavilion, plenty of parking, and generous amounts of exterior electricity. After our May School of Instruction, another Worshipful Master in the district and I came to the same conclusion at the same time:
“Think we could pull off a district picnic this summer?”
Once we decided to set aside the fear of taking on the challenge, to jump the first and largest hurdle of making the official decision to do this, it was all downhill from there. We’d provide the staples, hot dogs and hamburgers, and request everyone bring a side dish/desert and furnish their own chairs and beverages.
“Do you think we could get live music for this picnic?”
Boom. Live band. Even the temple’s neighbors enjoyed it.
If you believe you have a worthwhile idea for an event, a fundraiser, education for your lodge, or want to start learning a degree to participate more in your lodge’s ritual work, and you find yourself having a hard time taking that first step, ask yourself, “why not?” I guarantee that when you seriously ponder that simple question, you will immediately see that the excuses you put in your own way quickly dissipate and your path to success becomes much more of a downhill journey than an uphill climb.
The district picnic was a huge success in the eyes of the people who came; 20-30 members and their families. Everyone was grateful the event was put together and helpful with set up and tear down afterward. I’m already looking forward to next year’s, hoping this turns into a yearly tradition of asking ourselves, “Why not?”
Bro. R. J. Hughes is the Worshipful Master of Armstrong Lodge #239 in Freeport, PA. He is King of Orient Holy Royal Arch Chapter #247, Principle Conductor of Work of Kittanning Council #52 and a member of Holyrood Commandery #100, all in Kittanning, PA. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Lodge of Research and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s Academy of Masonic Knowledge where he is a Level 1 Master Masonic Scholar. Bro. R. J. can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org