Tonight, I had the honor of being passed to the second degree of Fellow Craft. It was a bit unnerving at first because my coaches have had very, busy work schedules, so I didn't have as much time to work with them as I would have liked. But in the end, I actually did quite well. Originally, we had three candidates scheduled, but unfortunately, one had a work commitment that he could not get out of, so it was two of us receiving our second degree. Hopefully, he will be able to have his second degree in the next week or so. The examination part actually went quite smoothly with only a couple minor glitches. Though we had not practiced together, it probably was hard to tell as we each knew our stuff.
The second degree lecture, like the first, was impressive, but went much deeper, and it was given so well. The man giving it had not done it in over seven months, and he was asked just the night before if he would like to give it. With very minimal prompting, he gave it almost flawlessly. And was it an interesting lecture! The night ended in some good fellowship, and lots of congratulations.
As I was driving home, I had to call my dad and let him know that I had gotten my second degree. Being a Master Mason, he was proud. Kinda fun following in at least some of my father's footsteps! Depending on the timing of things, he will be visiting in the Fall, so he might be able to visit while I receive my third degree. We'll see.
Over the past three months since my initiation, I had the opportunity to attend five other first degrees--three at my lodge, and two at other local lodges. That really helped clarify and reinforce some of the material. Of note was some first degree work done in Townville, SC where the local Sherrif's department conducted the initiation. It was very impressive seeing uniformed police officers doing all of the work to initiate one of their fellow officers. The the work was very well done. It's great to see community leaders dedicated to Godly work of integrity. I have always had great respect for people in law enforcement, but this really raised the bar. Oh, and at some first degree work at my local lodge, they asked me if I wanted to sit as a Junior Deacon! That was lots of fun and it let me be right in the middle of things. Again, it helped me in preparing for my second degree. I hope to be able to participate like that again soon.
I have decided not to coast too long after getting my second degree. I'm kind of on a roll, so why not maintain the momentum? I need to wait at least 28 days before I can go for my third degree, so I could conceivably get it at the end of October, but I'm not going to rush it unnecessarily. I want to try to do better with the third degree than I did with the second, so if it does take longer, so be it.
So, my journey continues, and as I learn more and more about Freemasonry, I am coming to understand more of what it is, and more importantly, what it is not. I've had some excellent discussions with fellow Christians, non-Christians, Masons, and non-Masons, and I am very comfortable in my decision to pursue Masonry. I'll keep you updated as I continue onward.
This is my twelfth article on my experience in Freemasonry.