Monday, February 29, 2016

Are You Ready to Take the ‘Leap’?

What will you do with your extra day?
Have you ever grumbled, “I could get so much more done if only I had more time”? Well, congratulations! Thanks to the calendar and the cosmological calculations of science, we’ve been granted an additional 24 hours this year.

It’s not often we get to do something on the 29th day of February. It’s possible only once every four years. So what should we do with this rare “opportunity”? How should we use an additional day we’ve been afforded?

We have plenty of options. We could sleep late, even hibernate if it happens to be a snowy day. Nothing like catching up on our sleep, right? We could take a vacation day, but since the 29th falls on a Monday this year, that’s not likely without the boss’s approval. Maybe we could take part of the day to assess how we’re progressing on our New Year’s resolutions or goals. Still early enough in the year to make course corrections if needed.

How we use day 366 this year is really a matter of personal choice, but if we believe what Psalm 118:24 declares, we’re assured, “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Although we tend to take for granted each morning when we awaken, in reality every day is a gift. No guarantees. So this year God has provided us with one additional gift.

It would be easy to treat this one extra day in business-as-usual fashion. Unless, of course, you’re among the less than three percent of people who were actually born on Feb. 29, in which case you get to celebrate your bonafide birthday for the first time in four years. Most of us, however, might regard the day that causes this year to “leap” with a casual shrug. That probably would be unfortunate.

While we’re not instructed to become enslaved to our clocks and calendars, the Bible reminds us we’re as much stewards of our time as we are of our money, our talents and material resources. Ephesians 5:16 speaks of “making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” That’s not to say there’s anything intrinsically wrong with any particular day, but what we do with the time – or don’t do with it – will determine whether it’s been a good day or not.

We could simply view Feb. 29 as a day that forestalls the arrival of March 1 by 24 hours. Or we could treat it as truly a special day, one for doing something we’ve been intending to do for too long: making a phone call we should have made a while ago; reaching out to someone we’ve neglected for too long; turning off the TV and picking up that great book we never seem to get around to reading; or tackling a task or project that’s fallen victim to our procrastinations.

Since every fourth year we observe as “leap year,” maybe this would be the perfect time to take the leap and use this plus-one day in a very special, even unusual way. Who knows? Maybe by “redeeming the time,” as the venerated King James Version translates it, we’ll be able to look back and realize, “You know, that was a very, very good day!”

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