This is the story of a young man who, not unlike many
young men today,
being fairly new in town and having settled into his new job, was told by
a friend about a club, The King Solomon's Yacht Club, and decided to
join. He had owned a sailboat as a boy and had always enjoyed sailing.
Being the gregarious sort and feeling a need to fill his free hours with
worthwhile endeavors, he decided to join. On the first meeting night he
attended, the members assembled with their wives and had a wonderful
meal followed by a business meeting. The business got a bit tedious at
times, long recitation of minutes, arguing over bills and expenses, etc.
But at length it came time to announce the new members, and he was
brought before the assembly and introduced. The "Skipper" of the club
rose to his feet and asked him the customary test question. "What do
you most desire?" Taken somewhat by surprise, the young man thought
for a moment and then answered, "To sail the sea!"
"To sail the sea!" the members echoed as they rose to
their feet and
raised their glasses in a toast to their newest member. "To sail the deep
blue sea!" And they all joined in a rousing chorus of "Anchors Aweigh."
He was instructed to come on Saturday ready to work, and this he did.
As he boarded the old vessel that the club kept in dry dock, he was
handed a bucket and brush and a handful of rags and was set to work
polishing the brightwork from stem to stern. He worked hard from
sunup to sundown polishing every bit of brass no matter how small.
Some of the fixtures no longer served any purpose and might have been
better preserved in a nautical museum, leaving the boat more streamlined
for sailing, but he didn't complain nor shirk his duty but appeared for
work on time every Saturday for a month until the work was finished.
On the fifth Saturday he came early. "Surely today we will go sailing,"
The boat was now completely seaworthy and ready for the
"Sailing?" the skipper asked in surprise. "Sailing? This is no time for
play, my boy! There's work to be done." And he was handed the same
bucket and brush and was put back to work on the same familiar pieces
of brightwork that he had laboured over for the past month. Well, I
don't need to tell you this boat hadn't been on the water for many years,
and with the current members probably would not again for many more.
Our young friend soon became disenchanted with a yacht club that did
not sail, and he dropped his membership.
But it wasn't too long until another friend told him about
"Blue Skies Flying Club." He had always been fascinated with airplanes
and had thought that one day he might earn his pilot's license, and so this
seemed to be the perfect opportunity. He accompanied his new friend to
the next meeting of the club where the members assembled with their wives
and had a wonderful meal followed by a business meeting. The business
got a bit tedious at times, long recitation of minutes, arguing over bills
and expenses, etc. But a length it came time to announce the new members,
and he was brought before the assembly and introduced. The "Commander"
of the Club rose to his feet and asked the customary test question, "What
do you most desire?" Taken somewhat by surprise, the young man thought
for a moment and then answered, "To fly!"
"To fly!" the members echoed and rose to their feet, raising
their glasses in
a toast to the new member. "To fly the wild blue yonder!" To his surprise
he wasn't given any work to do, but was encouraged and reminded to
attend all the meetings of the club which he did faithfully. Soon he began to
ask around and was surprised to learn that the club had no airplane. Many
of the members were old Air Forces pilots but no one had a current pilot's
license. He made a few suggestions to the older members. He suggested
they find an old warhorse and fix it up, or take classes and renew their
licenses. At the very least they could have some programs at their monthly
meetings and have speakers come and talk about airplanes.
The topics would be interesting and informative, airplanes
of World War I,
the Lafayette Escadrille, airplanes of World War II, the Battle of Britain,
The Flying Tigers, The Black Sheep Squadron, etc, etc. Finally the older
members tired of his suggestions and took him aside and explained they
were not interested in flying or airplanes, that he was just making trouble.
They were perfectly happy meeting once a month, eating spaghetti, arguing
over bills and playing dominoes. If he was interested in flying he should go
somewhere else besides the "Blue Skies Flying Club."
Well, I don't need to tell you that our young friend soon
disenchanted with a flying club that cared nothing about flying or airplanes
and he dropped his membership.
But it wasn't too long until he met another new friend
who was a very
active Mason. The young man was not unfamiliar with the Fraternity.
His father, grandfathers and uncles had all been Masons, and he had
always been intrigued by what Masonic philosophy and symbolism he
had heard and seen. He thought one day he might become a Mason
and better himself by gaining Masonic enlightenment. He asked the right
questions, returned his petition and was elected to membership. On the
night of his initiation he presented himself at the lodge and was brought
before the membership. At one point of the ceremony the Worshipful
Master of the lodge asked him the customary question, "What do you
most desire?" Not the least bit surprised, the young man forthrightly
answered without any prompting, "Light, Masonic Light!"
Now if you have been following along you surely know this
is not the
end of the story. Either the young man did or did not receive what he
came looking for. Who is the young man? He is every member of your
lodge, and of my lodge, and of every lodge in the country. Does he
receive Masonic Light at your lodge, interesting programs at your
monthly stated meetings, or does he receive a plate of spaghetti, a
long recitation of minutes and an argument about the utility bill?