Monday, May 31, 2010

"Because time won't give me time..."

During my work with our newer Brothers this past winter I found myself in constant discussions about the importance of the Working Tools. "These are not just symbols," I would tell them, "these are actual tools for practical application in your daily life."

Lately I have been reminded of the old saying: "Those that can -do. Those that can't - teach."

I started class this past week - a fifteen week Statistics course that is crammed into a six week summer session. For me this is a double whammy. Firstly, math has never been my strong point. There is a reason I went into human services - you sure as hell don't want me doing your taxes or anything else that requires more than basic math. Secondly, I haven't really been in a classroom for 20 years. Sitting in the class and looking around - I am definitely the old man in the room. The carrot is that I pass this class it unlocks the key for me to start my Masters - a program to which I have already been accepted and which hinges on passing this class.

To make a long story longer, this week not only saw the beginning of this class but also my full time job, my part time job, Lodge responsibilities, Scottish Rite work, family commitments and occasionally - sleep. So I thought about those lessons taught to my new Brothers and specifically the 24" Gauge and I thought...I think I need a bigger Gauge.

But alas, there is no 36" or bigger Gauge. We have been given a 24" Gauge and are taught how to use it - to keep all in proper proportion. The trick is finding out how to make it all fit into 24 hours. I think that the trouble is that we continue to try to force a bigger object into a smaller one. We cannot force 36" of length into a 24" space. Oh, we can try but eventually something gives out and sometimes it is not something that can be fixed or replaced.

For instance, when I was younger, I worked myself to the bone. At one point I had three jobs and slept when occasion merited. Sure, we could pay the bills, but I missed time with my kids. See, they are all grown now - one with a family all her own - and I find myself wishing that I kept things in proper proportion. My temple has some holes in it - I tried to fit too much into too little a space and I lost some valuable stone from time to time.

I reached into my toolbox and pulled out my Gauge this week. Slowly I began to cut away some of the "vices and superfluities" of life. After next week, I will be fitting things to the 24" Gauge and I am already feeling a little relieved and more relaxed. I will spend less time doing so much for everyone else and spend a little time of those things that need my attention. I think I will start with my new grandson - after my stats homework is done, of course.

How are you applying your 24" Gauge?

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