An old man, going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”
By Will Allen Dromgoole
I had the fortune to read this poem through an "Art of Manliness" blog. It brought to mind a major theme which was a focal point of MWBro. Edward Gilbert's term as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York. He discussed the need for us to be "cathedral builders." Our ancient Brethren who worked on building cathedrals did not work for the instant gratification of their labor. More often than not, builders who began work on the building did not live to see their work completed. They labored with the image of the completed ediface in mind, knowing that some day, their labors would be useful to those who followed after them. It was MWBro. Gilbert's assertion that we should model that philosophy. Instead of working only toward the short term goal of membership numbers, we should also be looking at long term goals - financial stability, improved education and a useful and attractive Lodge building as some examples. It is important that we not only focus on the "right now", but also on the future and those Brothers who will follow after us. We must build with the future in mind, and not be hampered by little setbacks or the absence of short term payoffs.
What will your Masonic legacy be?
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