Thursday, July 9, 2015

I'm Not Serious Enough To Be A Freemason?

Creason and Hussey Illinois Grand Lodge October 2013
I was recently talking to a friend of mine, and I asked him why he'd never petitioned a lodge of Freemasons.  He told me something astounding.  He told me he wasn't serious enough to be a Freemason.

What?

Then I thought back to when I first joined.  I thought the same thing.  I thought it was a very serious organization--very somber, traditional, ritualistic, and very dedicated to very serious work.  And it is all that.  In the beginning I behaved in much the same way I do in church.  I was always on my best behavior (which for somebody like me is a very challenging thing to accomplish). 
It's important to know the difference.
But let me tell you something.  I've never had more fun than I've had with Freemasons over the last ten years.  There are things we take very seriously, but without a doubt you'll hear a lot of laughter in a Lodge as well.  And Masonry is full of extremely entertaining individuals.  Like William J. Hussey, Jr., who is about to end his term as our Royal Arch Most Excellent Grand High Priest of Illinois. We've had a rather interesting exchange going for a long time.  Chaos isn't far behind each time we meet, and the insults never cease on Facebook. 
People often speculate about what goes on in a Lodge of Freemasons.  Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.
I'm not sure I'd still be active in my Lodge if I was still treating the Fraternity like church.  Friendship, fellowship, and fun are very much a part of the Craft, because the kind of men that are attracted to Freemasonry are the kinds of men who enjoy life.  While we learn from each other, we laugh a lot together as well.
This circulated around Facebook earlier this year . . . not hard to figure out it was Hussey that did it.
And one more example.  Twice a year we have a Scottish Rite Reunion in my Valley.  I'm usually in one or two degrees, and we have several practices.  At those practices, there's a certain amount of clowning around that takes place.  I once heard a friend of mine give an entire degree prologue at a rehearsal in the voice of Foghorn Leghorn--I still can't listen to that particular prologue without hearing it that way.

I almost always think to myself "they're never going to pull this degree together in just a couple weeks."  Then we get to that night, and the lights go down, and the degree begins, and without exception, these same men who were laughing and clowning around at practice perform those parts flawlessly.  Most of them have done those parts over and over again, and they know exactly what they're doing.  It is a truly remarkable thing to see.

There's a time to be serious, and there's a time to have fun.  In Freemasonry, you'll have ample opportunity to do both. 

~Todd E. Creason

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