Several years ago, while going through a particularly rough patch in my business, I said a simple prayer at church. The simple prayer was, “Lord, show me the path.”That very day during the pastor’s sermon, he recited the words of Proverbs 3:5, which says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Later that week, I went to Barnes and Noble and looked through the Bibles. The NLT version (New Living Testament) contained the exact words that had answered my prayer. I purchased that Bible and highlighted the verse. Nearly five years later that same Bible has lots more highlighted verses, notes in the margins, the cover is starting to come loose, and there are some red letters missing in the book of Matthew from when my dog Gabe decided to carry it into the other room one day.
This particular verse has helped me through tough days on many occasions since then. I also found the verse on a plaque and it stands on a shelf in our kitchen.
As I prepared my Grand Master’s remarks this spring (in the hope that tradition would hold and I’d be elected) I included Proverbs 3:5. It was my desire to state that as Masons we are all connected to God. After reading the verse, I intended to offer a prayer for wisdom, strength and endurance. I planned to place my hat on the altar, just touching the Bible, to symbolize my reliance on God in this great and important undertaking.
The Book of Proverbs is also significant in that most of the book is attributed to King Solomon. As Solomon is such an integral part of our Masonic ritual, a reading from Proverbs seemed quite appropriate.
This verse was included in my Grand Master’s remarks, which were typed up, printed, and ready for Saturday morning’s session. God had a different plan though!
On Friday late afternoon, the Grand Lodge officers assembled for installation. My brothers from Lake Lodge took their places and opened the ceremony in public form. Senior Warden Mike Zvarra solemnly opened the Bible and placed the square and compasses upon it. This was the same Bible upon which I was obligated as a Master Mason some 31 years ago.
When we reached the point in the ceremony for me to kneel at the altar, I placed my hands on the Bible and gazed down at the words. Between my hands, above the square and compasses was the fifth verse of the third chapter of Proverbs. I made a conscious effort to slowly read the passage as Past Grand Master Craig Campbell began the charges given to each new Grand Master. I know in my heart that God had spoken to me through his word. Before I got up from my knees I used the bookmark ribbon in the Bible to mark the passage from Proverbs.
Later in the installation I asked Brother Zvarra whether he had opened the Bible to any specific passage. He indicated that he had not, but he did notice that it was the Book of Proverbs.
Later that weekend, Grand Treasurer Jeff Bryden told me about a book that he had heard of entitled “When God Winks.” I found the book on Amazon and have it at home now. The book relates to stories about the power of “coincidence.” The author, SQuire Rushnell (capital Q) contends that there is more to coincidence than meets the eye.
Personally, I have felt for a long time that there are coincidences that I have come to call “God-incidences.” God has a plan. As I enter into this great and important undertaking, and serve this wonderful fraternity, I pray that my path can align with God’s plan . . .
. . . and I hope to notice many more winks!
Donald W. Hensiak