60 seconds per minute. 60 minutes per hour. 24 hours per day. 365 days per year. Each of us gets no more and no less.

Except this year.

The Gregorian calendar operates under the agreed upon fiction that the earth orbits the sun every 365 days. However, the annual trip actually lasts 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds. So once every four years February 29^{th} graces our calendars as a “leap day” to even out the calendar.

In school, students learn that leap years can be divided by 4. So 2016 ÷ 4 = 504. Since the year is divisible by 4, it’s a leap year.

Except when it’s not. Since the earth’s orbit takes slightly less than 365 days and 6 hours, 3 days have to be subtracted over the course of 400 years. So a year divisible by 100 is NOT a leap year unless the year is also divisible by 400.

Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up . . . regardless, this year we receive a gift of one extra day for 2016. What will you do with the dividend of 86,400 seconds?

Time is one of God’s most precious gifts. Once a moment passes it can never be regained. All the wealth in the world cannot purchase an extra second.

Suppose this was the last day of your life. What would you do? Who would you call . . . visit . . . forgive . . . hug? How would you spend the precious gift of a single day?

Leap day gives each of us the gift of 24 hours. Let us spend each moment like the priceless treasure it truly is.

60 seconds per minute. 60 minutes per hour. 24 hours per day. 365 days per year. Each of us gets no more and no less.

Except for this year.

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Great reminder to us!

Also, as an amateur astronomer, I admire the precision of your explanation…though you did leave off the occasional leap seconds that have to be used to keep the atomic clocks in tune with the sun. 🙂

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Thanks for your very interesting quote.

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