How is your start of 2022 going? Have you, like me, posted a new calendar and are busy filling in all the squares with important events and reminders?

Like the past few years, I eagerly awaited the arrival of our “family” calendar. It is one of those where each monthly page is personal-ized with multiple photos. I look forward to seeing which pictures of my children and their children were selected for each month’s page.

Due to COVID, our 2022 family calendar was a little late getting to us. As such, I am already playing catch up, flipping from page to page, planning the year ahead.

Since each page contains photos of my family, the changes in my grandsons from the month of one year to the next are readily observable. These visual changes are key indicators of how quickly time is advancing, even when we might not want it to do so. We can’t stop time.

We also know that none of us, not one, is promised an unlimited amount of time. We’re not even promised tomorrow. So a major challenge of starting a new entire year is recommitting to living each day as it comes, grateful for its arrival, and willing to savor all of its uniqueness.

Those of us who view all of life through the lens of faith readily acknowledge that every day is a true gift given to us by God. When viewed as a gift, each and every day becomes something to be opened and treasured, enjoyed, experienced, and appreciated to the fullest of our ability.

Filled with trust in a God who is ever at work for good in the world and in us and who delights in surprising and filling us with awe and wonder, we can look forward, not in fear of what might lie ahead, but in eager anticipation of the blessings that await us.

This does not mean that every day will be perfect, pleasant, or even easy. But even in those days, we hold to our belief that God will still be with us, close by, to guide and support us and to love us.

Whether we get to experience every day on our 2022 calendar or just one more, we can and will say “thanks” to God for all that has been, and will say “yes” to all that lies ahead.

May it be true for us all in 2022.

Pete Berntson is the pastor of Church of the Palms United Methodist Church in Okatie.