My brother-in-law and his wife found their way to the marriage altar the same year Laura and I did—1992. Laura and I celebrated 28 years of marriage last month, while Mark and Carla will be celebrating anniversary number seven, at least on the actual day of their marriage. How so? Leap Year. They proudly married on Leap Year Day, February 29, 1992, and since that day only rolls around every four years, they justify their quips of being married seven years with two daughters in their twenties.
That’s right, we are now in another Leap Year, where February 29 is added to our precious Gregorian calendar, giving us 366 days to live instead of the usual 365. I don’t want to bore you with too much detail, but Leap Year was invented to compensate for the earth’s annual trek around the sun, which lasts a fraction longer (about .2422 of a day) than the Gregorian calendar’s 365 days. By adding an extra day every four years or so (the year must be divisible by 4, and a century year must be divisible by 400), the calendar stays synchronized with the four seasons. Without it, the calendar would be off by 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds each year. Feel better?
So, why all the fuss?
What if I told you that I could miraculously give you an extra day—a day that only comes around every four years? What if I could give you the gift of extra time? Time beyond what’s normally scheduled to fit in 365 days a year. What would you do with that gift?
Well, thanks to some brilliant astronomers and other scientists, we have that gift available to us this year. My question to you is: What are you going to do with it? How are you going to live in that extra time of February 29?
God is not surprised by the surplus of time. He “determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place” (Acts 17:26). He is the One who created “lights in the vault of the sky to . . . serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years” (Genesis 1:14). He knew all along that this year, 2020, we would have the gift of an extra day.
My suggestion is that before you cram it full of regular Saturday activities and treat it just like any ordinary day, why not set it apart as a holy day, a Sabbath? Why not receive this gift of an extra day and use it for laughter, rest, and re-creation of your mind and soul?
Don’t worry, “time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking into the future.” March 1 will be waiting for you right around the corner, and life will go on. But what a blessing to step out of the normal 365-day year and live the extra 366th day in celebration and joy. Let’s enjoy it while we can because we won’t see it again for another four years.