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My Leap Day Prayer

Leap Day just came and passed. What did you do? Did you celebrate it, or did you treat it like any other day? Leap Day isn’t something that most people recognize as a special day, but this year I found myself wanting to know more about Leap Day, and I learned things that drew my heart to the amazement of God’s creation!

Did you know that Leap Day doesn’t occur every four years?!? That confused me too, but I recently learned that it actually takes the Earth 365.242190 days to orbit the Sun, or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 56 seconds. An extra twenty-four hours (or Leap Day) was added to the calendar every four years because if not, the seasons would drift and we’d eventually be celebrating Christmas with 100-degree days, or we’d have snowfall on the 4th of July. However, adding a twenty-four--hour day every four years is too much. We actually only need to add 23.262222 hours to keep us on track. So, if we added a “leap day” every four years, we’d make the calendar longer by more than forty-four minutes, and over time this would also cause the seasons to drift in our calendar. So, every once in a while, we have to skip a Leap Day. The rule is that if the year is divisible by one hundred and not divisible by four hundred, leap day is skipped. The year 2000 was a leap year, for example, but the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not. The next time a leap day will be skipped is the year 2100. (All info was taken from the article “The Science of Leap Year” from Smithsonian Magazine.)

Leap Day is certainly important as we track the earth’s yearly orbit around the sun. But in the end, this is mankind’s way of measuring something that God designed. And when it comes to time, every day is unique and unpredictable, not just February 29. Every day is here today and then gone to the annals of history. And while we carry history uniquely in our bones and memory, what we are promised is only today. We can’t repeat yesterday, and we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. So, may we number our days and gain a heart of wisdom (Ps. 90:12).

My Leap Day prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for the amazing complexity and beauty of your creation. As much as I might try, I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around your intentionality in creating all things!

I pray you would help me to be intentional and to number my days. Help me see the finiteness of who I am. Merely dust. Help me to embrace my limitations that I may live more fully into the present day that You have given to me – that I may use my days to bring honor and glory to You, the infinite Creator, the eternal outside-of-time Almighty God of the universe–that I may honor and love You with my small, temporary, fleeting life, until You bring me into my eternal rest in my eternal home. In Jesus’ name, Amen.