Right Worshipful, Very Worshipful, Worshipful and Brethren All
I stand before you tonight after you have already raised two of my fellow brethren to the 3rd degree. Each of these brethren has delivered their own unique reflections on the 2nd degree so I have a very tough act to follow.
Thinking about what I was to present here tonight and the presentations that I was going to have to follow made me realise that I am missing a key insight that the fellow craft degree was trying to teach me. I realised that I am not “in competition” with my fellow brethren, but I am in fact sharing a journey with them.
The insight is that on this journey we are walking together but we are leaving separate footprints. Each of us, in our own way, is finding our path in the craft. But the beauty, the wisdom and the strength of the craft are that we are not walking the path alone. We are sharing our journey with brethren that provide us with different insights, new perspectives and sometimes take us on the most bizarre side roads.
But, however fantastic this journey is, we have an obligation to not just be passengers on this journey. It is too easy to sit back and marvel at the journey of others but we need to take the responsibility to, at times, lead the journey, to suggest a new path and to reinvigorate the brethren that have grown tired of the journey.
We have a responsibility to not be apathetic to our labours. We have a responsibility to not become complacent with the insights that we can gain every day. We have a responsibility to live the core principles of brotherly love. We have a responsibility to drag along those brethren that has forgotten what it means to be a brother. We have a responsibility to walk the journey with vigour. We have a responsibility to always remain open to new insights and we have a responsibility to always remain in awe and wonder.
The fellow craft degree is a call to labour after the entered apprentice has learnt to know thyself. For me, the fellow craft degree has taught me that I share a journey with my fellow brethren, but it is my responsibility to leave my own foot prints on this journey.