By Bro. Chris Jones – FC and Asst. Sec.
Since the Dawn of Time, tools were contrived to evoke change. To either build or break, but their use never elicits a stagnant result. A paintbrush changes the blank canvas or wall, salt or seasoning changes the smell and taste of a dish, an ax fells the tree and a gavel removes the unwanted stone in hopes of creating the square, true ashlar. Without these tools provided to us, life becomes an exercise in futility and frustration, as man has yet to master felling trees or carving stone with bare hands. The same can also be said for the man who has the tools, yet never uses them. The trees will remaining standing and the stone rough. Wisdom is often found not in the creation of a new tool, but in the practice and refinement of an existing ones use.
Many of us are blessed to have receive these tools, but of more importance, we inherit the support to use them. The great cathedrals and temples of past may have started their creation in one man’s head and heart, but were built by a body of brothers with the necessary implements to start and finish their work. With each waking day and the always impending potential of a final breath, I find comfort in knowing I have in my possession the tools to govern and improve myself. The journey to self-mastery seldom seems attainable. A similar feeling the builders experienced as they knew their death would arrive before the completion of their work. As we gather with our Brethren, may we be reminded that our strength lies in the support of each other, as we act as apprentices, to not just further refine ourselves and learn, but to share what we have in support of each other, in hopes of strengthening the pillars of this noble Craft; our Brothers.
It is with the practiced use of these tools that beauty arises. And with that, the realization that the true beauty of the ashlar isn’t in the finished stone, but the journey, the work and the process of creating the perfect ashlar. Our work in the Quarry is never finished. All around us, symbols guide and hint. Let those with ears to hear and the eyes to see be directed and empowered and let them do the same for their fellow Brethren. Let us adorn ourselves as the Corinthian pillars of past and carve our rough identity into something worthy of the title Freemasons.
Belief, hope and an inner stirring has brought us together. May we always remember our departure is never far away. And may we live each day in the interim, meeting on the level, acting by the plumb and departing on the square with the hope of receiving the Blessings of Heaven. Brotherly love being the cement which binds us, builds us and separates us from the Profane.