I find it absolutely fascinating and inspiring that our solar system is so orderly!
Our massive planet Earth floats in space, revolving around its sun, travelling a total of 584 million miles at 67,000 miles per hour. The number of days for one revolution has been consistent for thousands of years to the nearest millionth of a day. How is that possible?
Could we replicate that kind of unvarying data? If the top experts of the automotive field raced a car around a track every day using every scientific, technological controls known to man, would they be able to get results as consistent?
There is something Divine and beautiful about this. To me, it points to an unchanging, faithful God who lovingly created a world of order for his children.
As usual, I also found a significant connection in literature, The Pirates of Penzance, a comic opera. The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic soon learns, however, that he was born on 29 February, and so, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year. His indenture actually specifies that he remain apprenticed to the pirates until his “twenty-first birthday”, meaning that he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic’s only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.
Here is a sampling of writings on Leap Year worth checking out, and I leave the best for last.
According to timeanddate.com, Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. It doesn’t take 365 days to circle the sun, it takes 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. So if we didn’t add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year, then after 100 years, our calendar would be off by 24 days.
There are various other calendars that have Leap Years. The Chinese Calendar has 13 months with a leap month added about every 3 years. The Jewish calendar has 13 months in a leap year. There are 29 or 30 days in each month in a Jewish leap year, which has 383, 384, or 385 days. A leap year is referred to in Hebrew as Shanah Me’uberet, or a pregnant year.
The Iranian calendar is slightly more accurate than the Gregorian calendar. Compared with the Gregorian calendar, which errors by one day in about every 3226 years, the Iranian calendar needs a one-day correction in about every 141,000 years. The Islamic Hijri calendar has a 11 leap years in a 30-year cycle. An extra day is added to the last month of the year during the Islamic leap year.
The Hindu calendar includes an extra month, once every three years or four times in 11 years. A leap year in the Ethiopian calendar is similar to the Gregorian calendar in which an extra day is added to the last month of the year every 4 years.
To close with the best: First, an exploration of the various calculations used to define a year. Scroll down about 2/3 of the way.
And my favorite, a fascinating point of view that the calendar has actually always been in place, since before man was created.
…Thought provoking perspectives on time…space…and eternity.