My dad kidded me when we left home in Detroit, Michigan for college at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Once we got all my stuff in the station wagon, he wondered if we had room for me. Somehow I squeezed into the front passenger seat and we made it. Then we had the arduous task of many parents and their kids going to college for the first time: carrying all of the stuff up stairs and down hallways to the dorm room or apartment in humid end-of-the-summer weather.
From what I hear, packing for college is still a pressure packed event on the home front. New students tend to pack everything they think they need. Having participated in helping college students and their parents move in during fall orientation, I’ve seen the boxes of shoes women bring, and felt the weight of what guys bring too. By their second semester or year, most students have pared down what they actually need – a lot less.
I value, appreciate, and salute Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship groups across the country that prepare every August and September to assist students and their parents during move in. The hot, humid weather does not make it any easier on the Chi Alpha staff and students as they carry, lug, and tote box after box up flights of stairs.
Welcome move in efforts on campus is an exciting, yet, rewarding activity, for new students and Chi Alpha. First, it is a great service to families moving their son or daughter to campus. Second, it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with freshmen early in their orientation. Third, it’s a chance to extend friendship and service with a smile. Last, we do not underestimate the help Chi Alpha chapters offer parents and their children, because we recognize how stressful the packing process actually is: not just in terms of the contents, but the emotions connected to dropping off and leaving their kid(s).
Read 2 Timothy 1:3-18.
When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, his young leader-in-training, the older man was in prison facing eventual death for his faith. He challenged his young disciple to hold onto the faith he had learned from his mother and grandmother. And he reminded Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God” and practice it (2 Timothy 1:5-6).
Think about it, your faith is like a legacy from your parents, a family member, and/or a significant church leader. All of us have someone who modeled, spoke about, taught, and encouraged us to know what we believe about Jesus and why we believe it.
Paul had several former disciples who abandoned their faith (Phygelus and Hermogenes, in 1:15), and many who were a blessing due to their character, perseverance, and service, like Timothy (Philippians 2:20-22), and Onesiphorus (2 Timothy 2:16).
Think theologically. When you prepare for college as a first semester freshman or soon-to-graduate-senior, I hope you do not forgot to bring your faith with you. Please do not leave it at home. Pack your copy of God’s Word, all the influence you have, and do not keep it to yourself. Share your faith with others. Do not leave home without it. Imitate who ever led you to Jesus. Feed your faith and live it out. You will be glad you did.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz