A Past Master, Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers

When things in your life, your Lodge, your job seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the Past Master, the mayonnaise jar and the two beers.

An old Past Master, many years past his physical prime, stood before his Lodge to demonstrate how he kept his mind young and open to new ideas.  He wordlessly picked up a very large empty glass mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  He then asked the Lodge members if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The Past Master then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar, shacking the jar lightly.   The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the members again if the jar was full.  

They agreed it was.

The Past Master next picked up a box of sand a poured it into the jar.  Of course the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full and the answer was a unanimous “yes.”

The Past Master then produced two beers from his box and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The Lodge members laughed.  (the Past Master was probable reminded by at least one Past Inspector, completely missing the point being made, that beer was not allowed in the lodge room.)

 “Now,” said the Past Master as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.”

The golf balls are the important things…..your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions; hopefully one of them is Masonry.  If everything else was lost and only they remained your life would still be full.  The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. 

The sand is everything else…..the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first there would be no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children, your parents and visit with grandparents.

Spend time with your spouce, take your her out to dinner.

 Attend Lodge.

 If you golf…play another 18.

 There will always be time to wash the car and fix the disposal.

 Take care of the golf balls first…..the things that really matter.

 Set your priorities,,,,the rest is sand. 

 A newly made Master Mason inquired what the Beer represented.


The Past Master smiled and said ”I’m glad you asked.”  The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with friends…….and maybe even a cigar and a bit of good Irish whisky.