The Solution, The Secret Vault
By Most Illustrious Companion John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master and Grand Treasurer, Grand Council of New Jersey
The Cryptic Vault
Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.- Henry J. Kaiser
King Solomon foresaw a problem: the loss of The Word. He also saw the solution: the Secret Vault. But how did he get from the problem to the solution?
He did what any good leader would do. He rolled up his sleeves, put on his apron, and went to work. Consider what our ritual tells us about the construction team that worked on the nine arches. There were 27 skilled artisans, the best of the best. The three Grand Masters worked as a team to erect the Ninth Arch. They worked after hours; not just to keep the work secret, but to ensure that it would be completed when the Temple was ready for dedication. They did not think it beneath their dignity as Grand Masters to get their hands dirty, nor to work with “lesser” workmen. They did not point to their own work and say “How great am I!”
With this kind of example to follow, how can you sit idly by when there is work to do? If our three Ancient Grand Masters were willing to literally get down into the trenches and work as laborers, why are you sitting on the sidelines? They labored underground, in secret, so that no one else knew what great works they were creating. How then can you sit at home, pretending that you are waiting to be called to labor?
There are Companions who are only willing to work when the silver trumpet has sounded in the morning, and stop as soon as it sounds at eve of day. There are those who only work when the Grand Master can see them, and rest on their accomplishments when he can’t. There are those who arrive in time for a meeting, or “fashionably late” so that they can make a big entrance. Those same Companions also tend to leave at the sound of the final gavel. Or they spend all their time talking to the “important” people. They’re just not around when the menial labor of setting up a Council or putting things away is to be done.
When you became a Mason, your rude and imperfect state by nature was pointed out to you. The solution was also shown to you: Masonic Light and Knowledge. No one ever said that it would easy, that it would be quick, or that no work was involved. You have to get your hands dirty, no matter your station in life or in Masonry. No miner ever found a gold mine by just walking around. No mechanic ever fixed a car while sitting in his office.
No Companion truly helped his Council by sitting home in the dark. Come back into the Light.