Happy Leap Year! When I was a kid it seemed as if leap year was one of those notations on the calendar that was recognized and was talked about, not as anything special but rather an interesting footnote, kind of like Lincoln's Birthday. The biggest concern was "What would you do if you had a birthday on leap year? When did you celebrate? More importantly, when did you get presents?"
Leap year was designed to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Since seasons and astronomical events don't repeat in whole number days, in order to keep whole days in a calendar, an extra day is inserted every four years to keep things on track. According to Wikipedia, "The same type of problem happens in the relationship between the day and the number of seconds in the day: If you divide the larger measure of time by the smaller, you do not get a whole number. Instead, the result is an unending decimal". To prevent the calendar drift of half days, leap year was invented. The "leap" comes from the fact that while a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar advances one day a week from one year to the next, in the following year of a leap year, the fixed date "leaps" over a day of the week. For example, February 1 , 2013 fell on a Friday. The next year, 2014 it fell on a Saturday, then in 2015 it fell on a Sunday. In 2016 it fell on a Monday. Because 2016 is a "leap year" February 1, 2017 will "leap" over Tuesday and will fall on Wednesday.
The idea of leaping got me thinking. What types of idioms (or expressions) do you know which have leap in them? Here are some that I found:
"leap at a chance", "leaps and bounds", "leap into someone's mind", "leap to conclusions", "leap at someone or something", "leap for joy", "leap forward", "leap out (of something)", "leap over", "look before you leap", "leap in the dark".
The one that I love is "leap of faith". Two of the definitions of leap are to "propel one forward" and "to enter eagerly into an activity". The idea that I am eagerly willing to enter into the activity that requires me to have some faith and that will propel me forward is encouraging and exciting.
By nature I am not a risk taker. I am a plodder and planner. I have enough trouble leaping from rock to rock when traversing a small stream on a hike let alone leaping out on faith into a vast unknown of all the "biggies" in life- job opportunities, where to live, moving, marriage decisions, financial responsibilities of college and retirement. Yet because they are the "biggies" I came to the conclusion long ago that there was nothing I could do to control them. I had to have faith in something/someone bigger than myself and to believe that God's plan for me was much better than the limited one that I could foresee.
As it is leap year, I am reminded of the times when big circumstances required me to make a leap of faith. Many times it was hard, kind of walking out onto a ledge and not seeing what is ahead or underneath you. But I can honestly say that when I completely trusted God, I was never disappointed. When I listened to His leading, my feet were on solid ground.
But I am wondering if I am making the small, daily leaps of faith? Am I trusting God with the smaller things in my life as I trust him with the biggies? If not, why not? Certainly his track record is excellent. Can I make that leap of faith that today, I am being propelled forward into an eagerly awaited activity? Am I looking at my day with the expectation of faith- that what I am being called to do today, could be as mundane as walking the dogs, excites me because of the possibilities that await me? Am I open to possibilities?
Do I trust God enough that whatever and wherever He calls me, He is faithful to provide me with what I need for the journey?
What about you? Have you ever had to make a leap of faith? How did it work out?
One thing I have noticed with my physical, rock leaping "skill" on hikes- the more I do it, the more sure-footed I become. I have noticed that the more I make those spiritual leaps of faith, the more eager I become to see what awaits me and what is on the other side.