"As thy days, so shall thy strength be" (Deut.33:25).
A.B. Simpson tells us this delightful parable:
The clock maker has just put the finishing touches on a little clock and set it on a shelf in his warehouse between two older clocks that were busy ticking away the rapid seconds. "Well," said one of the clocks to the newcomer, "So, you've started on this task. I am sorry for you; you're ticking away bravely now, but you'll be tired enough before you get through thirty-five million ticks." "Thirty-three millions ticks!" said the frightened clock. "Why, I could never do that!" And it stood still instantly with despair. "Why, you silly things," said the other clock at this moment. "Why do you listen to such words? It's nothing of the kind. You've only got to make one tick this moment. There now, isn't that easy?" "Oh, if that's all," cried the new clock, "that's easily done, so here I go." And it started bravely on again, making a tick a moment and not counting the months and the millions. But at the year's end, it had made thirty-three million vibrations without knowing it.
I think every family has its electronegative charger who zaps our good plans and our good thoughts. I personally know of a family whose children called their father Chief Black Cloud. He had a gift of raining on everything. It takes a special kind of strength to live with a person whose train of thought runs down a blackball track. Perhaps the saddest aspect of the constant negativity is that the person is unaware of what s/he is doing. The husband who tells the wife not to wreck the car every time she leaves has no idea of what he is doing to her sense of worth. The parent who constantly scolds a child wonders why the child fails. And on it goes, into eternity, unfortunately.
Next time we want to tell our family member (unwittingly, of course) how stupid s/he is, let’s stop, look and listen! Let’s encourage our loved ones. When we do that, we give them courage and strength for each day.