Two weeks ago, I wrote about a group of six Ole Miss football players who went on a mission trip to Panama over spring break.
They have since returned to Oxford and been knee-deep in schoolwork and football practices, but I was able to catch up with senior linebacker D.T. Shackelford, who shared his thoughts on the experience:
"It was life changing. To be able to influence others, it's just a blessing that God enabled us to use our platform to affect others in a positive way. That's something Coach Freeze stresses a lot - use your life for something positive and not anything negative. There are a lot of people in this town that look up to us."
I asked D.T. after this past Wednesday's practice what lessons he and the other guys learned from the trip.
"Gratefulness. I don't think it's a coincidence that I went. Being away from the game for two years, I have to be grateful that I don't struggle like some people in the places that we went. Gratefulness that I don't miss meals. Your perspective on life changes.
"We just finished practice and we're about to go eat a full breakfast and get a free education. Everything's basically free. All of us have cars. We're not missing meals. It's the little things you can take for granted that a lot of people around the world don't get on a daily basis."