Have you ever wondered why we have a Leap Year? I don’t often get to date a blog entry February 29. It only happens every four years. This year is a leap year; it consists of 366 days, as opposed to a common year of 365 days. Leap years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun. If we didn’t add a day on February 29 every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!
OK, perhaps the reason for leap year was not the most pressing thing on your agenda for today. But let me use leap year to make this point: with an extra day given to us this year, let us pause and think about all our days and just how precious each and every one of them truly is.
O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! (Psalm 39:4-5)
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
One of the best things that can happen to us today is to be reminded that every day is a gift from God. The past is gone. The future is promised to no one (on this side of the grave). All we have is right now . . . this day. And that is why it is called the present. Today is a gift from God, and our gift back to God is the way we go about investing this day.
So . . . what are you going to do with your extra day? Perhaps you have been putting off sharing Jesus with someone who doesn’t know Him. Maybe you have been planning to write a thank you note to someone special and haven’t gotten around to it. Possibly there is someone who is in need of your forgiveness and today is the day you ask God to give you the grace to do that. Perhaps there is someone from whom you need to ask forgiveness and today is the day to ask God for the courage and the humility to do that. Is there anything you have been putting off doing until tomorrow that you can do today?
If the extra day this year gets us thinking about how we are using all our days, it’s a very good thing! The Bible speaks about the difference between the wise and the foolish. It is only the wise who understand the brevity of life and make it their goal to invest their days in ways that bring glory to God by advancing the cause of His kingdom, right here and right now. There really is no time to put off till tomorrow what God is calling us to do today!
Let us all pause today and ask God to penetrate our hearts with this truth: may this “extra” day remind us of that final day! Because only God knows when that final day will come, let us invest wisely each precious, unrepeatable day that He has given to us along the way.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!