If you spend enough time wandering around the Internet you’ll find all sorts of articles spouting off about the ills of Freemasonry and how to fix them, (including more than one here on this blog). In most cases the solutions deal with trying to give the Fraternity a “shot in the arm,” or suggest something that will create a buzz around a particular event and generate the interest that everyone feels is needed.
What I find in most of the solutions I read, is an underlying tone that suggests that you can’t wait, you need to act now, because if you don’t your Lodge and the Fraternity is doomed.
What happened to patience?
Most Masonic Historians agree that the likely origin of our great Fraternity stems from the stone mason guilds of the middle ages. Some of the greatest constructions ever conceived and built were done by these men, and none could have possibly thought that a quick fix would be the best way to solve a problem.
The Cathedral of Our Lady (Antwerp), whose clock face adorns this post, was constructed over 170 YEARS. Just take a minute and let that sink in.
We belong to a Fraternity that is nearing its 300th anniversary, count as a possible origin a craft that took on projects that extended beyond the lifetime of any single individual, and yet we only seem to worry about the immediate future and not the longer term.
Many of the issues facing our fraternity can’t be solved in the next six months, or even six years. Those solutions might need a bit more time for planning and circumspection before moving forward.
So, if you’re in a position to work on a solution to a problem facing your Lodge, take a minute and think about the bigger picture. Take the time to think through what the longer term view is, and don’t be so quick to judge the results.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and the rebuilding of our Fraternity can’t be done that fast either.