by Annette Bridges. © 2008. All rights reserved.

It’s leap year! This of course means that 2008 has 366 days instead of the usual 365 that an ordinary year has. Have you decided what you’re going to do with your extra 24 hours?If you’ve ever watched the television series “24” — which lives out a day in the life of Jack Bauer — you would know that every hour of a day is important and can even change the world.

Wars can last for years and then end in one day. Presidential campaigns last for months, but in one day we elect a new president. Yes, each and every day — each hour of each day — brings with it endless possibilities and extraordinary potential.

Maybe you feel like one day merely follows the next with little difference, so you see no benefit to adding one more day to your weary year. Perhaps you see each of your days as trapped in a repetitious grind, much like Bill Murray in the 1993 movie, “Groundhog Day.” The movie depicts a man reliving the same day over and over again. And he is not to get out of its vicious cycle until he becomes a better person and lives the day to its full potential.

The song lyrics may have it right: “What a difference a day makes. And the difference is you.” Do you have any idea of just how much of a difference you can make and probably are now making in the lives of others? I suspect not.

Many of us get so caught up in the point of view that our days matter little that we convince ourselves our days are mundane and pointless. Since our attitudes can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, perhaps we need to take more care of how we think. So our solution is found not so much in the “what” of our day, but in the “how.”

How do you spend your day? Are you happy, sad, angry, satisfied, inspired or bored? Do you rehash yesterday’s mistakes? Stew over yesterday’s words? Fret about tomorrow’s uncertainties? Or perhaps you spend your day waiting for it to end?

The difference in your day is up to you! Again and again I’ve learned that my expectations never fail me. Regardless of the details of my day, if I expect my day to be bland, dull, unimaginative and tired, it most certainly will be.

Fortunately, there is much advice available to help. The Psalmist promises, “This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24). I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t welcome the promise of being happy every day of his life.

Jesus taught, “You’re blessed when you get your inside-world — your mind and heart — put right. Then you can see God in the outside-world.” (Matthew 5:8)

This idea of being blessed — happy, satisfied, inspired — sounds like the kingdom of heaven to me, and Jesus said, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar.” He said, “The kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21). So, waiting for your day to end or for the weekend to arrive or for the season to change doesn’t hold the promise of better and satisfying days.

Why wait? Why not make your day be the best it can be right now?

It is possible, my friend, to inject new life into each day. We begin by striving to make each day unique. This requires investing in our day — taking what we perceive as a humdrum, old-hat and stale day and clothing it with freshness, fervor, zest, interest and passion in everything we do and with everyone we share moments with.

I’m here to tell you that not only is it possible for you to do this, but it’s quite necessary if you want to shift your days from the mundane to the monumental. And you’ll see the difference in your day right now!