As children we have no appreciation for structure because we have no responsibilities. Structure helps us execute tasks, create routine, order and ensure productiveness. These are things that we have no need to be concerned about when we’re young. However, throughout the course of a Scout camp my brother and I as sixteen-year olds had responsibility thrown at us. It was suddenly the case that if I didn’t cook my dinner over the fire, I didn’t eat; if I didn’t organize my personal belongings, I wouldn’t be able to function when urgencies arose; if I was careless when using tools and hurt myself, I would become a hindrance to my patrol and unable to fulfil my duties. Maintaining relationships with my fellow Scouts became a concern for me too, it was important for me to pull my weight, show love in ways I could and be a support for others despite my shoddy French (you’d be surprised how much you can communicate through arm flailing, grunting and mimes).
With this newfound responsibility, concern for others and for the common good, I began to see the importance of structure. I saw that without structure our lives are slow and disappointingly unproductive. Men especially benefit from structure due to our ridiculous tendency to constantly seek comfort, pleasure and ease. In Genesis we see how men and women have different tendencies toward different sins. In the garden of Eden, we see that Adam allows his lower appetites to take pleasure in the concept of eating the fruit having been told that it will give him power, the ability to see good and evil. Also, when Adam is confronted by God Adam chooses the pleasure of not taking responsibility for his actions, he points to Eve first.
To be emasculate is to have an unwillingness to put aside one's pleasure in order to pursue what is difficult. Sloth is similar but slightly different. Sloth is an aversion to what’s hard, however, to be emasculate is to be attached to pleasure. I think it is so important for men to be aware of these tendencies and to tackle them. This is where structure plays its part. Structure is the means to achieving goals efficiently and a means to tackling our disordered nature. Being tidy, organized, systematic and self-disciplined teaches us asceticism and makes us men who aren’t crippled by their passions who can strive for and achieve greatness. Christ died for his Bride the Church, we are called to die to ourselves, to our desires, and to gain true freedom.
I personally find executing a well-structured plan and ticking things off a to do list a bizarrely satisfying thing and hope that you too can come to revel in this same satisfaction through Christ.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
My name is Dominic Taaffe, I’m twenty years old and am currently spending a year at Holy Family Mission Glencomeragh, Waterford, Ireland. I was born in England, but grew up in Tipperary.
When I was about thirteen, I developed a strange obsession with burning sticks, tying sheets of plastic to logs and cutting up plants, I remember spending hours Youtubing videos on camping techniques, survivalists and hunting.
I think I obtained the gift of wonder and awe in God's presence through my Confirmation, I genuinely began to see God’s presence in nature around me. Anyway, this interest ended up taking me to an intense Scout camp in France for two weeks with “Scouts d’Europe,” where my brother and I were put through our paces and tested physically, mentally and became spiritually strengthened through the experience.