Imagine you’re on a highway and there are no rules for the road – no speed limit, no stop signs, no street signs, no lane demarcations. That’s how most people live their lives – lots of chaos, collisions, and road rage. You’re not free to drive however you want to. There’s a structure, and you’re only free to function within a structure for the protection of yourself and others. Yes, you can choose to take the scenic route to your destination, but only if it’s within the structure.
We’re born as children. Children are unstructured. Part of raising children is to give them structure. If a parent doesn’t give a child structure, they may lack discipline and rebel against authority. Likewise, there’s a rebel in your spirit called the human being that wants to be free of structure. Immaturity is often demonstrated as a rebellion against structure.
To gain some insight on structuring one’s life, let’s see what Diodorus, a Greek historian, had to say about Egyptian kings:
In Egypt, everything was preordained for the kings by order of law, not only the affairs of public business but even their daily life and diet. … The hours of both day and night were governed by a schedule, according to which the king must perforce to do what is ordained, and not what might seem best for himself.Diodorus of Sicily, Library of History, Book 1, Loeb Press.
For not only was there a properly appointed time for him [the king] to hold court or render justice, but even for taking a walk, bathing himself, sleeping with his wife, and in general for all the activities of his daily life.
Yet the kings were not averse in any way to doing such things according to custom, nor did they take offense in their hearts. On the contrary, the believed themselves to live the happiest of lives: for they considered that other men, thoughtlessly indulging their natural passions, did many things that caused them harm or hazard, and that often a man, knowing that he was about to do wrong, yet overcome by love or hate or some other emotion, did sin nonetheless. But they themselves, striving after a way of life sanctioned by the wisest men, fell into the fewest ignorant errors.
To improve your life, you need a framework of laws, principles, and guidance. God endowed you with the ability to structure your own life. Take advantage of understanding and appreciating structure because most accomplishments and successes stem from adherence to structure. For instance, all great performers adhered to a structure of countless hours of practice which were guided by coaches, directors, teachers, etc. Are you performing at your highest level? If not, examine how you’ve structured your life, how you spend your time, and where you (mis)place your values, and then fortify your life with more structure.