Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jeff's 5 minute speech as 1st year representative at the 2008 MFT graduating class banquet.


Welcome, family and friends. There is an old therapy joke:
Q: How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Only one, but it has to want to change.

Change is kind of a buzzword around here. We research change, we write papers about the “theory of change”, we try to help clients work through the changes in their lives and find the change they need to grow and thrive.

When clients come to see us, they may not be ready for change. But when you came to this University, you knew that it was going to change you, but perhaps you didn’t know how it was going to change you.

Tomorrow is a special day where you’ll be changing once again. In a matter of hours, you will be transformed, almost like magic, from graduate students into… who knows? Some of you will go on from here to further your education, some of you have just gotten married, some of you just became or will soon become parents, most of you will jump right back into the struggle for hours and supervision as you work toward your license. A couple of you are going to return to your previous vocation in the mission field, better equipped to do the work you were called to do.

The MFT department may be most invested in helping us to learn about change and how to help others, but the University is also invested in this concept. ACU’s mission is : to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Looking out at our graduates tonight, I know those goals have been met.

I don’t really think that anyone will remember the words I offer tonight, except perhaps to recall that I told you you wouldn’t remember what I said. Even so, I hope to give you one encouragement to take with you tonight.
It is one of my favorite scriptures: Ephesians 2:10
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV) We were handcrafted by God, created anew in Christ, for a purpose. I want you to focus on “God prepared in advance these good works for us to do…” because He has been preparing you to do them. You’ve been called, created to do good works. To touch lives, to walk alongside hurting people and give them hope.

The past year has been a whirlwind from a 1st year’s perspective. We’ve watched you, observed you, sat in on your sessions, picked your brains. When the time came to do co-therapy, we got to sit with you as you mentored us and helped us to understand all the book learning we’d done. Thank you for that. Thank you for your example. Thank you for your encouragement.

In a week, in a month, in a year… no one will remember much of what is said here tonight, but you will remember the relationships that were formed during your time here. So, thank you for being our friends, our classmates, our mentors. We know that you have been equipped and that you are ready to move on to face new changes and new challenges. Good night and God Bless.

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