The Working Tools of a Master Mason
As an Entered Apprentice you were presented with the 24 inch gauge and the common gavel, and instructed in their use.
These working tools were not given to you as a mere part of the ritual to be memorized and then forgotten as you passed to the next degree.
Have you really given 8 hours to the service of God and a distressed worthy Brother? Have you given 1 hour or even 5 minutes? Have you taken 1 minute to bring relief to an unfortunate Brother or console someone in sorrow? Have you stopped to wipe the tears from the eyes of a little child grieving over some trifle, which to its tended imagination seemed the greatest disaster? Have you tried to bring cheer to some fellow creature realizing that not only in the lodge, but all men are your Brothers?
Have you taken the Symbolic Gavel and endeavored to divest your life of some bad habit or undesirable trait to make yourself a better man in the eyes of your Maker? Have you even tried to suppress some unworthy or uncharitable thought, which though unknown and unseen by your Brethren is all too apparent to the Grand Architect of the Universe who has decreed that as a man thinketh, so is he?
Have you guided your life by the lessons of the 2nd degree, walking uprightly by the Plumb of rectitude, not in haughtiness and vain glory, but in humility and modesty? Modesty is a shinning virtue, it elevates the soul and prepares the mind for knowledge.
Have you acted upon the square with all men because as a Mason it is expected of you?
Are you really traveling on the level of time, or are you standing still while time passes you by? For even to that undiscovered country from whose borne no traveler returns is not some far distant land to be found in some far distant future, for the future is now, the time is now, it is not the past, not the future, for that one has already ceased to exist for us and the other may never be. The only time we have is now, and now is forever.
Remember that an act once done its effects go on forever and the consequences whether for good or for evil are forever charged for or against you and you alone.
Have you properly used your working tools? None but those who do are entitled to be called a Master Mason.