By Tremaine Ellison, EA
The Working tools of the Entered Apprentice are the Twenty-four Inch Gauge and the Common Gavel. The Twenty-four Inch Gauge is a measuring tool and used in calculation. Originally used by operative Masons to measure and lay out their work in ashlar, we as Free and Accepted Masons are taught that the “twenty four inches”, which make up the Gauge are representative of the hours of the day. Masonry instructs us to divide the day into three equal parts: 1) a part for the service of God and his calling to be the Light, be the change and aid a distressed brother 2) a part for one’s career and the furthering of it and 3) a part for rest
These parts must be equal, a concept I am still putting into practice. So often am I burning the candle at both ends, taking on large numbers of tasks with my eyes big, wanting no doors to close while suffering from an extensive case of F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out), constantly throwing balls into the air until I have no time and no hands to catch them. This lesson, in my case, is that of organization and prioritization, because there are twenty-four hours in a day, but there are only twenty-four hours in a day.
The common Gavel is a tool used actively and continuously. Operative Masons used it to break off the ashlar to make a perfect stone for their use in building. We as Free and Accepted Masons are taught that we are the ashlar by way of our hearts and consciences and are ridding ourselves of our vices and superfluities. The sculpting symbolized by the common Gavel must be actively and continuously practiced throughout life to obtain the true purpose God has for us.
In Conclusion, operative Masons had these tools on their person during their charge. I plan to walk forever upright with mine. Thank you.