For some reason I can't explain (other than advancing age) my neck has been stiff the past few days. I'm not sure if it's muscular or if I'm in need of a chiropractic adjustment of subluxations, but it is uncomfortable. I can't turn my head like I would like, so my peripheral vision is impaired.
I've been trying to stretch the muscles, but that's painful, too.
God called the stubborn wandering Israelites a "stiff-necked people" (KJV) because they wouldn't be stretched. As a result of their stubborness, they lacked the ability to see with the eyes of faith and vision that Moses possessed. And it frustrated God and Moses immensely.
One of the challenges of leadership is stretching. The leader has to be stretched at times or he loses sight of the big picture. Those being led need stretching, too, or they will want to be stationary or will retreat. Unfortunately the stretching is usually accompanied with pain. But no pain....
Right now I'm being stretched as God puts a "holy discontent" within my heart. Like my stiff neck, it's really frustrating me. And I want those who lead with me to experience that same stretching so that we can as a team stretch those who follow. The ability (or probably lack of it) to effectively communicate vision and motivate others to own it has me in pain.
I know what's ahead. In the words of Clubber Lang in Rocky III when asked his prediction for the fight against the champ: "You want my prediction? Pain!" But after the pain of stretching a renewed vision will move us into new ministry, mission and growth.
In the meantime I'll take an Advil or two.