Today is Leap Day, the so-called "extra day" that pops up every four years in order to keep our Gregorian calendar synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Technically it's not an extra day in the sense that it's added to your life. Most likely you're living today like any other day, doing the same kinds of things you normally do.
But what if you really had an extra day that wasn't just a calendar adjustment, but a truly unique day that was added to your life, where you could do things you normally don't do because you don't have time for them? How would you spend your "extra" time?
King Hezekiah, who ruled over the Southern Kingdom of Judah at the end of the 8th century BC, was given a bunch of extra days--15 years to be exact. He was dying, and the prophet Isaiah told him to get his house in order. Like a lot of people (especially powerful people), Hezekiah wasn't ready to go quietly into that good night. He wanted more time. So he cried out to the Lord, saying, "Please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight" (2 Kings 20:3). Amazingly, the Lord answered Hezekiah's prayer and added 15 years to his life.
So what did good old Hezekiah do with his "extra" days? Well, he continued to enjoy his material wealth and he built a pool and a tunnel that brought water into the city, but there's no indication that he grew closer to the Lord. There's not even any clue that Hezekiah was grateful for the incredible gift of life God gave him. If anything, it appears he blew his chance to become a better King, a better man and a more godly person.
None of us knows how many days we have on earth to do those things God planned for us long ago (Ephesians 2:10). And none of us can count on getting any extra days added to the end of our lives. But here's something we do know. Every day of our lives is a gift from God, and in that sense, every day of our lives is truly "extra."
You've heard the expression, Carpe diem. It means "sieze the day." If there's any person who should take this saying seriously, it's the child of God, the Christian, the one who lives by faith. Of all people, those who have been given the gift of eternal life, who are living in this "already but not yet" world, should sieze every single day and live it as though it really were an extra day given to us by God.
So today, on this Leap Day, do something to sieze this day. Take advantage of it. Do something you would not do on an ordinary day. Call someone you haven't talked to in a while. Say something encouraging to a total stranger. Hug someone you love in a way that says, "you really are special to me." And perhaps most importantly, do something very un-Hezekiah-like, and tell God how utterly grateful you are for this day. Even more, let Him know that you want to be a better person, that you want to be more like Him.
And then, when the day is over, think about tomorrow, a day that's not guaranteed, but rather a gift. Think of tomorrow as another Leap Day, because just like today, tomorrow is an extra day in your life, a day unlike any you've lived before.