Summary: A look at the Unexpected Journey God sent Moses on.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11 – NIV)
Two hunters from Oklahoma were dragging a dead deer back to their pickup truck. Another hunter from Kansas approached pulling his along, too.
"Hey, I don't want to tell you how to do something, but I can tell you that it's much easier if you drag the deer in the other direction. Then, the antlers won't dig into the ground."
After the hunter from Kansas left, the two hunters from Oklahoma decided to try it. A little while later, one hunter said to the other: "You know, that guy was right. This is a lot easier!"
"Yeah, but we're getting farther from the truck," the other added.
This was my first attempt at firing a 12 gauge shotgun. The fundraiser netted proceeds that made it possible for those who struggle with life-controlling habits to find freedom through a 9-month recovery program called Teen Challenge. Now, backing Teen Challenge was easy, but taking a ribbing about my lack of experience shooting a shotgun, now that was humiliating. Every guy in my church who attended got the biggest laugh out of my shooting technique.
I have decided that the next time a clay shoot comes around, I am going to write out a check for $100 and let my associate pastor hit me in the shoulder twenty times.
The Big Idea: In your Unexpected Journey, God uses His creation to make you like Jesus.
Allow me to recount for you the story of Henry Cowell. Or, more appropriately, let me allow Malcolm Gladwell to do so. His rendition is succinct and to the point, and for me to put it into my own words would do the story – and you – an injustice.
“Just after the First World War, Lewis Terman, a young professor of psychology at Stanford University, met a remarkable boy named Henry Cowell. Cowell had been raised in poverty and chaos. Because he did not get along with other children, he had been unschooled since the age of seven. He worked as a janitor at a one-room schoolhouse not far from the Stanford campus, and throughout the day, Cowell would sneak away from his job and play the school piano. And the music he made was beautiful.
“Terman’s specialty was intelligence testing; the standard IQ test that millions of people around the world would take during the following fifty years, the Stanford-Binet, was his creation. So he decided to test Cowell’s IQ. The boy must be intelligent, he reasoned, and sure enough, he was. He had an IQ of above 140, which was near genius level. Terman was fascinated. How many other diamonds in the rough were there?” 1 How many daily go unnoticed, overlooked and continue to live in the shadows despite their radiant talents?
Henry Cowell was an outlier, a statistical freak, an anomaly. The word "outlier" is a noun. It is one of those words you find in the “Reader's Digest” section called "Word Power." Outlier is "something that is situated away from or classified differently from the main or related body." It stands out by itself. It is an island to itself. It is a place that lies outside of everyday experiences, a place where normal rules do not apply. Moses was an outlier. Outliers are men and women who do unique and special exploits.
Joseph was an outlier. Joseph was raised in a dysfunctional home that included abuse. He was sold into slavery and lived a roller-coaster existence for the next twenty years as he went from prosperity to prison to the palace. Using his God-given talents of dream interpretation, he saved an entire nation from famine.
Wichita State Shockers are outliers. Let's start with center Carl Hall. Hall has a heart problem and was never expected to play college basketball. Few in the NCAA tournament have more heart than Carl Hall.
Redshirt freshman Ron Baker missed 21 games with a foot fracture and retuned just before the NCAA tournament to step out on the stage of the biggest venue an outlier could stand on.2 Announcers habitually referred to him as the redshirt freshman from the small western Kansas town of Scott City.
Having given up a year of eligibility to transfer from Oregon to Wichita State, Malcolm Armstead worked in that off year at a car dealership to pay his way through school.