News From The Ninth Arch

The Master Plan

The Master Plan
By Most Illustrious Companion John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master and Grand Treasurer, Grand Council of New Jersey

Temple Plan
(Photo Credit:


\’Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.\’ -Robert H. Schuller

My Companion:

In the Tapestry of Life, each of us may only see a few threads. We will never know the Master Weaver’s plan, or the design being woven. All we will know are the threads around us, and how we relate to them. If we mix well, the tapestry will hold together, and look impressive. If not, it will look thread-worn, lumpy, and unattractive.

The workmen at King Solomon’s Temple always had designs to follow, with one notable exception. Without the Grand Masters, and their knowledge of what the final building was going to be, just imagine how the Temple could have looked like. Walls that were not plumb. Corners that were not square. Carvings that did not match from stone to stone. Not a place for a worshiper to find peace and contemplation since he would be constantly wondering if the roof was going to fall on him.

Not every worker knew everything about what was being erected. They were divided into lodges, based on skill and ability, and assigned different things to do or make. But all the pieces came together perfectly as if it was one whole piece of work. Our group of 27 skilled workers had a special assignment, which no one else knew about. Not even Adoniram, King Solomon’s close friend, knew about it.

Life is like that, too. Each of us works on the part of life that we see in front of us. We may know something about what our friends and family are doing, but even there we’re in the dark on those things they have kept secret or hidden. We never know anything about what the stranger we see on the street may be working on.

As you, a Select Master, complete your work, checking it with the Master’s Square and comparing it to the designs laid down on the Trestleboard, always keep in mind that your work must fit into the Grand Plan. The Plan is laying there on the Altar.

Always read the instructions first!

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