Have you ever felt like a misfit? Sometimes it’s physical; like you have really big feet. Or, you’ve always had a pear-shaped figure, fleshy face, and chubby arms. It might be a handicap, like a cleft palate, crooked eye, or a facial birthmark. Maybe it’s your family of origin. Your family tree is more like a crazy vine running everywhere. You’re in there somewhere but don’t want to talk about it. It might be a failure in your past that you’re not ready to share. It might be your personality type. Extroverts abound in your office but you enjoy quiet time and reading. It might be family related. Your parents have unreasonable expectations you’ll never live up to, and so at family gatherings, you don’t feel close, you don’t sense the love. So, you feel like a square peg in a round hole, fish out of water, or like a guy wearing Speedos to a church swim party. Maybe like Michael Jordan when he played baseball.
Michael Jordan, also known as Air Jordan, His Airness, or just Superman, was a shooting guard and small forward for the Chicago Bulls ’80s and ’90s. While he experienced moderate success at the University of North Carolina, he took off like a rocket in the NBA. His achievements include six NBA titles, five-time MVP, and ten-time scoring champ to name a few. Most impressive, he was a team player who enjoyed passing, assists and playing defense.
But in July of 1993 Jordan’s father was murdered while sleeping in his Lexus at a rest stop. Crushed by his death, Michael resigned from basketball to focus on his family. After sitting out a season, he surprised everyone by signing up to play minor league baseball for the Chicago White Sox.
He played his first game for the Birmingham Barons, a White Sox affiliate on April 8, 1994. I had the chance to see Michael play baseball in Sarasota, FL while attending a friend’s wedding. He was tall, lanky, and awkward. He had to unfold his legs before running. He looked like a giant giraffe galloping to first. It was entertaining but we all knew Michael was made to wear high-tops not cleats. After just one year, he came to his senses and returned to pro basketball.
The last time we saw Moses, his mother gave him up for adoption to save his life. He was just a tike at the time. The Scriptures skip a few decades and the next time we see Moses he’s a grown man. In a sermon by Stephen found in the Book of Acts we see how he turned out. Acts 7:22 says, “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.” Notice the words “powerful in speech and action.” He was the complete package – quick, decisive, energetic, direct, poised, educated, and eloquent. Moses had chiseled arms. He appeared comfortable at the table with world leaders. He was on his way to the top.
But like many talented, beautiful, successful people, underneath the royal robs and confident demeanor he was a mystery to himself. He wrestled with enormous identity questions like, “Who am I and where do I belong?”