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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

That Extra Day

Photo Credit:  Alvimann from
As soon as I opened up Facebook on Monday, I got a message that read, “Every four years, February gets an extra day – make the most of it!”

February 29th.  Unless your birthday happens to fall on that day, I’m not sure how much thought people actually give to February 29th.  However, because it is unique and only rolls around every four years, I thought I’d look into some of the fun facts and share them with you today.

Are you a leaper? (Relax….I didn’t say leper! Ha!)  People who are born on February 29th are often referred to as leaplings or leapers.  The chances of having a leap birthday are 1 in 1,461 and about 4.1 million folks around the world have been born on February 29th thus far.

Why do we have leap years anyhow?  After a quick online search, it says that the extra day is added as a means of keeping our clocks and calendars in sync with the Earth and its seasons.  It’s because of the solar system's disparity with the Gregorian calendar.  An orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days.

So, there ya have it!

Leap years are also marked as a time for women to propose to men.  Yep!  That’s what I read.  One theory is that the custom dates back to the 5th Century, when an Irish nun named Bridget complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose.  Legend has it that St. Patrick gave women the chance to pop the question every four years on February 29th.

This popular tradition is known as “Bachelor's Day” in some countries.  If the man refuses the proposal on February 29th, he is then obliged to give the woman money or buy her a dress.  If the man refuses marriage in upper-class societies of Europe, he must purchase twelve pairs of gloves for the woman.  This practice suggests that the gloves are to hide the woman's embarrassment of not having an engagement ring.

Did you also hear that there was a campaign going to make February 29th a “work-free day?”  Workers have realized that every leap year, they have to work one extra day for no extra pay!  What?!

Finally, here are a few facts about leap years:  The Summer Olympic Games are always held in a leap year, as are U.S. Presidential elections.  And, in Greece, couples often avoid getting married in a leap year, believing it to be bad luck.

That’s the leapy scoop!

So, what if we were only able to call upon God once every four years?  Gulp.  What if our day to pray only rolled around like February 29th does?  Yikes!

Thank God, we can’t call Him too often in prayer.  There’s a funny that I received from my buddy, Mikey, which is too cute not to share for reflection:


We have all learned to live with voicemail as a necessary part of modern life.  But, you may have wondered, “What if God decided to install voicemail?”

Imagine praying and hearing this..."Thank you for calling My Father's House.  Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 for requests.
Press 2 for thanksgiving.
Press 3 for complaints.
Press 4 for all other inquiries."

What if God used the familiar excuse..."All the angels are helping other customers right now.  Please stay on the line.  Your call will be answered in the order it was received."

Can you imagine getting these kinds of responses as you call upon God in prayer?

"If you would like to speak to Gabriel, press 1.  For Michael, press 2.  For a directory of other angels, press 3.  If you’d like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you're on hold, press 4.”

“To find out if a loved one has been assigned to heaven, enter his or her social security number.  For reservations at My Father's House, press the letters J-O-H-N and then 3-1-6.  For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, and where Noah's ark is, please wait until you arrive here."

What about this one?  "Our computers show that you have already called once today.  Please hang up and try again tomorrow."

What if we heard this?  "This office is closed for the weekend.  Please call again on Monday after 9:00 am."

As we continue on during this season of Lent, let’s remember that we can call upon God in prayer at any time.  Any day.  Any place.  We don’t have to leave a voice mail.  Our prayers can be simple.  Our prayers can be lengthy.  Let’s just remember to keep the conversation going.  And, join me in thanking God that He is available to listen every day…not just February 29th.  Maybe He’s given us that extra day…to pray?  As Facebook says, “Let’s make the most of it!”  I’ll remind you in Leap Year 2020.  Until then…

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

P.S.  No Sips next week due to Spring Break!  Enjoy!

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