What Masonry Means to Me, by Bro. James Robert “Bob” Sharp, Jr.

Being a Mason wasn’t something I aspired to be. I really did not know enough about it to want to be one. What I did know was that my father was one and that there was a long line of relatives from the past that had been Masons. You would have thought that my dad being a Mason would have been enough to encourage me to become one. It wasn’t. For whatever reason, I could not see what Masonry had done for him or how it helped shape him as a man. It was only after many years and discovering that many of Texas’ founding fathers were Masons that I started to develop an interest in Freemasonry. In their histories I discovered men of faith and moral character that stood out from the rest. They were dependable, solid citizens that were building for the future. That’s when I truly began to see the quiet greatness that was in my own father. When I became a Mason it became evident to me that, the same character and sense of purpose found in the founding fathers of Texas (and dare I say my own father) were right there in the lodge. Being reserved and something of a wallflower I would have been content to sit on the sidelines and observe the goings on of the lodge. It wasn’t long before some of the brothers (and I truly do think of them as that), encouraged me to get involved and helped me find a self worth that was hidden in the shadows. Going to lodge wasn’t just about getting a good meal, it was now about visiting and interacting with the brethren. There were times when I was low and unbeknown to them, their presence and friendship pulled me out of that despair. These fellow travelers helped guide me along life’s journey and helped make it richer and joyful. In addition to that, I was able to finally see, understand and finally appreciate the beauty of Freemasonry my dad had so patiently tried to impart to me. Not only that but my world is filled with brothers that inspire and help me find that worth I did not always see in myself. Freemasonry and the brethren of the lodge have been and are a blessing that I am truly grateful to be part of.