Back in my days at the Wesleyan Christian Advocate, I was visiting a church one night, hoping in vain to sell subscriptions, when a woman came to me and announced, “Wish me a happy birthday; I’m 23 today.” “Poor thing,” I thought, as I nodded, smiled and looked around to see if there was someone who was supposed to be keeping an eye on her. The woman had to be in her 80s, and clearly she was, well, a little confused. But then the people standing near her smiled, too, not in an “ah, poor thing; let’s humor her” way, but as though they were all in a joke that I clearly didn’t get. “What day is it?” one of them finally asked me, and at last I understood. The date was February 29, and I was wrong; she wasn’t in her 80s at all.
This Leap Year thing has always fascinated me, and I think I more or less understand it. The intercalary (look it up) day of February 29 synchronizes our Gregorian calendar with the solar calendar, giving us 366 days instead of the normal 365. But the important thing is this: We get an extra day this year. Granted, it might not feel that way, but look at the calendar! There it is.
So, how will you use it? I mean, bonus days don’t come along that often, so make the most of it. But be creative. The day is a gift, after all, so don’t use it to catch up on work or chores or blah stuff like that. Instead, mark off one item from your bucket list. Or just make it a play day with your children or grandchildren. Enjoy it.
If you’re in a generous mood, give the day to a friend. Sit and talk; go to a movie; share a meal. If you’re going to catch up, catch up on conversation. Or, if you prefer, you can give the day to a stranger. Join with our SafeHouse team one night—serve a meal and worship with folks who probably can’t do a thing in the world for you but be with you.
Spend some time with God. Sit, read, reflect, pray, watch birds. You’ll be amazed at the difference a day makes. If you insist on spending your extra day at work, then give the money to the Children’s Home (That’s the whole idea of the Work Day Offering, after all).
Or maybe you would prefer to take the 24 hours and spread it through the year. An extra hour in worship here, a 30-minute walk there, a conversation you didn’t think you had time for, a prayer. The time is there. Use it.
Now, which day you take as your bonus is entirely up to you. But if you’re having a hard time deciding, just assume today is the one. Enjoy it. Do good with it. Share it. It’s a gift.