What’s Another Day?

29/02/12 | Posted by HughB

29th February – so what are you going to do with the extra day?

 An Extra Day

Of course, probably the best known custom in the UK for this day is the one revolving around marriage. This is or was the day when a woman could propose to a man she fancied rather than the other way round. Apparently this was because 29th February was not properly recognised as a day so the norms of society did not apply. Depending upon what part of the country and what century you were living in, this custom varied in power. At one time it was claimed that a man couldn’t refuse, at other times it was thought a man who turned down the proposal could be fined £100 or be required to recompense the woman in some other way. But of course, in the 21st Century when we look to equality of the genders, the custom has rather lost its meaning.

This year I have noticed that the Baptist Church is encouraging people to use the extra day to bless people by going the extra mile, buying someone a coffee, giving people an unexpected compliment, etc. Not a bad idea, really.

Not surprisingly Jesus did not say anything about leap years or extra days but he said plenty on the subject of what we do with our days. A recurring phrase he used was, “keep watch, because you do not know the day.” Usually this was to warn of his return one day to judge the world but it often went hand in hand with a suggestion that we use a days well. None of us know how long we have on this earth but what we do know is that there is no guarantee of reaching our three score years and ten.

Rather that seeing just 29th February as an extra day, my proposal is that we consider every day a bonus and make the most of the opportunities we’re given to bless those around us.


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