Would Martin survive the university in Boston?
His parents raised him to know and serve Jesus Christ since he was a little boy. He attended Sunday school and church on a regular basis. He knew the stories about Abraham, Moses, David and Goliath, Samson, Daniel and the lion’s den, Jonah and the whale, the prophets, Mary and Joseph, John the Baptist, the struggling apostle Peter and the fiery apostle Paul.
Martin’s parents regularly talked about the integration of faith, prayer, witness, justice and missions in their home. Their lone son was prepared to stand on his own, link faith in God with daily life, and be a responsible follower of King Jesus.
Martin’s parents knew the University would be stressful. They knew that living far away from home and missing the safety and security of his parents, friends, and home church was a concern for their son. Making friends who were a good influence on him was another concern. Would he have time to hang out with friends while he kept up with homework and a part-time job? How would he stand up to a professor who ridiculed and slammed his Biblically based beliefs? Would he attend church on his own without being reminded by his mom and dad to get up and go? How would he handle his meager financial resources?
By nature, parents worry about their kid(s). The transition from high school to college can be, but does not have to be that stressful. Yet from choosing a major to navigating dorm life, determining your values (and living them), finding a career path, staying out of debt, and even meeting a possible spouse, life in college is demanding.
Like a lot of students, Martin soon realized that the decisions he made in those few short years would impact the rest of his life. Here are ten of the decisions he made that helped him not just survive, but ultimately thrive as a college student:
First, he worked on good, healthy habits like sleep, good nutrition, and staying in shape.
Second, he was developing a God-centered dream for his future that would serve other people.
Third, he developed a working schedule that balanced work and play and stuck to it.
Fourth, he went to church on his own to stay connected to the faith of his parents, and more importantly, develop a faith in Jesus on his own, and connect with the wider community of faith.
Fifth, he got the facts and planned an academic schedule that helped him graduate.
Sixth, he thought and acted missionally. He knew King Jesus wasn’t safe, but He was good.
Seventh, he lived a simple life in college.
Eight, he worked hard learning to learn.
Nine, he asked the big questions of life. God. Purpose and meaning. Right and wrong. Love and forgiveness.
Ten: he left college after nurturing his faith journey and integrated faith in Jesus and his larger purpose.
Read Acts 13:36.
Live communally. Martin Luther King’s parents prayed for, modeled, and instructed their son about being prepared for life after high school. Martin listened to his parents and lived a life of faith and good works. We celebrate his example today (and each year) as a life well lived.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz