That is the shortest Blues song in the world. Perhaps it was written by a teenager on a Saturday…
I felt a bit like a Blues song this morning:
“I woke up this morning, and sat up in my bed. I yawned and I stretched and rotated my head. I felt a sharp stab in the side of my neck. For the rest of the day the pain’s had me wrecked. I’ve got those stiff necked, cricked neck, pain in the neck blues [guitar solo].”
It wasn’t as if I was doing anything unusual, but somehow I have managed to acquire a ‘cricked neck’ which hurts a lot if I move it too far to the left. It doesn’t always bother me, but this afternoon I was in a meeting on an uncomfortable chair that made me slouch in such a way that the pain in my neck was constant.
It’s not the end of the world. I don’t need sympathy (although chocolate would be nice). It was interesting that those sat opposite me in the meeting could tell that I was in pain. It was difficult to hide.
So with some heavy duty ibuprofen gel on my neck I wait for my body to realign itself.
I am about to pre-empt those of you who were about to send me a link to a Bible passage (Exodus 33):
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, “I will give it to your descendants.” 2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.’
4 When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites, “You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.”’ 6 So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.
Yes, I could be described as a stiff-necked person at the moment. (And I am not wearing any ornaments at the moment either). As I well know at the moment someone who is stiff-necked does not find turning around very easily. The Israelites were stiff-necked because they struggled to change. They kept reverting to old habits (ignoring God) and were trying his patience.
Have you ever been so angry or upset with someone that you have had to leave their presence for fear of what you might say or do? That was what God was saying here. These people had tried his patience so much – Moses was up on the mountain receiving the 10 Commandments while they were at the bottom of the mountain making an idol of a gold calf and worshipping that!
Later in the chapter Moses interceded for his people and God relented.
Please God help me not to be stiff necked (literally as well as metaphorically). Help me not to resist change that you want to bring, help me not to ignore you and do my own thing.
And thank you that you do relent, you do forgive, you have unlimited grace and give me so many fresh starts.
Be blessed, be a blessing.