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Letter #119: Wishing Tree

January 27, 2011

Dear Mississippi College,

You are everything I imagined you to be and more. Small Christian school hidden down in the middle of Mississippi filled with some great people. In my observations, you are basically why the town of Clinton exists. As I walked around your campus and observed your students, I was floored by the fact nearly everyone knew everyone. I never experienced this being at a big school, and I’m unsure whether I like it or not. Nevertheless, that’s the vibe I got from you.

I began the night with a sweet reunion with two friends from the Kanakuk Institute and your alumni at Froghead Grill. First off, my food was unreal. I can’t remember what it was called, but it had shrimp and crawfish in a wrap with sweet potato fries…sketch, I know, but it was probably the best meal, most unique meal, I’ve had on trail. My company was better than the food. I’m still floored I spent eight months with 69 people, all of which have become dear friends, and I can have these sweet reunions all over the country. My friend Casie played basketball for you, so I made her take me to the gym! Neat to see and may even have rivaled the Nebraska facilities?!

I took an evening stroll through downtown Clinton and visited the ‘Wishing Tree.’ This was a random, yet fun adventure. In a small courtyard, trees are covered with LED lights and have yarn hanging from various branches. Students, locals, visitors like me come and write a wish or prayer on a sheet of paper and stick it in the yarn. Neat tradition and experience. I was just thankful I didn’t stumble upon a lip-locked couple! What did I wish for you ask…duh, I can’t tell you or it won’t come true!

My sweet friend, Beth Ann, from K-West was the best hostess in the world. She made me a ‘Welcome to Clinton’ package: notable items including a coveted t-shirt, a Mississippi paperweight featuring dice and glitter and a box of Mississippi license plate peppermints with the name ‘Lynn’ because they were out of Lindsay. My friends never cease to amaze me! This week of trail reunions has brought great joy and conversation!

Maybe my most intriguing observation of you was your spiritual complacency. You are a Christian school, and I think I had unrealistic expectations for your students. You were more like any other public or state school I’ve visited where people are on all ends of the spectrum spiritually. I don’t say this to criticize your students. I say this to simply remind myself religious affiliation doesn’t equal being sold out to the Lord. It doesn’t matter what school I attend, church I’m a member of or ministry I work for, I must take ownership of my relationship with the Lord.

Wishing my wish comes true,

Best speller of M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I ever after this week’s blog

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