Alumnus Kary Speaks to COLA Convocation

May 04, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

By Doug Carroll
Communications Staff

It’s the definition of happiness rather than its pursuit that makes all the difference, GCU alumnus Michael Kary told Wednesday morning’s College of Liberal Arts convocation in his keynote speech.

Kary, a theatre graduate who is now an instructor for the University, told the degree candidates assembled in Antelope Gym that “13 years ago, I sat where you are today.” He spoke of a difficult time when he became seriously ill and also endured the failure of a business after moving with his wife and children from New York to Los Angeles.

Keynote speaker Michael Kary

Citing Jeremiah 29:11 — “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” — Kary moved his family back to Phoenix last year on faith, without any firm prospects for employment.

He called the past year one of the best years of his life, but he said it wouldn’t have been possible without the struggles he had gone through.

“Happiness comes from work that lines up with your purpose and from finding people to do that work with,” Kary said.

To make a point about success, Kary presented a gift bag to one student in the crowd.

“We tend to view success like that bag — that there’s a finite amount of it in the world,” he said. “If that’s true, then we see God in the same way — arbitrary in who He gives His blessings to.

“Happiness isn’t about stuff, power or recognition. Adam and Eve were happy without any possessions. They had fellowship with God and with each other, and they had work that came from God.”

Happiness is significant enough, Kary said, that Jesus led his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) with his own definition of it. The definition, Kary noted, ran counter to the world’s perspective and still does.

Brian Mueller, the University’s chief executive officer, closed the convocation with brief remarks.

“Thank you for choosing Grand Canyon,” he told the degree candidates. “Being Antelopes will tie us together. But what’s most important is this: Christ will bind us together for the rest of our lives.”

Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or [email protected].

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