These last couple weeks of 2021 are already a little unusual.

Current events are swirling around virus policy, the big Biden “Build Back Better” Act seems to have hit a Joe-Manchin-sized brick wall, sports leagues are in an uproar around rising case numbers, and more.

And this, of course, on top of the normal holiday haze that Phoenix Valley families and businesses are in the midst of.

So, instead of my normal fare today, I am sending you this “help me remember” prayer I found a few years ago that I like to send out to my Phoenix Valley clients around the holidays.

But if there is anything we can do for you in the days before 12/31 … please give it a try here: 602-861-0033

I can’t guarantee our availability, as we have a LOT of client work to handle these few days before year-end … but we’ll do our best!

So I will leave you with this. It is something I stumbled across some time ago, and I can’t take credit for its authorship. But it’s worth pausing to consider.

And while it’s framed as a prayer, no matter your belief system, I believe that you will find that it’s rather pertinent to this chaotic cultural moment…

Charles Hirlinger’s “Help Me Remember” Holiday Prayer
“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.” -St. Augustine

“God, help me remember that the jerk who cut us off in Phoenix Valley traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry, and spend a few precious moments with her children.

“Help me remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

“Remind us, Lord, that the scary-looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares …

“Help me remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slowly through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

“Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy, and love.

Amen.”

To a season that is truly bright,

Charles Hirlinger