Friday 29th February. Another leap year, another ‘correction’ in our faulty estimate of 365 days in a year. We thought perhaps the Universe should have given us tidy integers, orbits that ran to exact days, but the closer we looked, the further away our measures got.
The 4-yearly leap day is an attempt to get our solar clocks back in sync., but even this is slightly out. So we have to have leap seconds too. None this year, the last was in 2005. We’ll have to adjust our watches again soon though.
Problems of time and measurement. When is now, and how far away are you? Both incalculable. We zoom in, micro, nano, pico… only to find at the last a haze of leaping particles, refusing to be pinned and bound and ruled. Life, in other words, is a series of estimates.
As is faith. The strangeness of God is parallel to that of particles. The energetic scientists go off in search, determined to nail down truth, demanding we nail our colours and beliefs to their masts… Only to find that bodies nailed to masts die; the life slips from them mysteriously, to rise elsewhere.
And this, in the end, is the problem of theology. It can never be the measure of God, nor provide for us an accurate rule. Instead, we must open ourselves to these divine corrections, these leap moments where we have to adjust, and humbly admit we are not this spinning Universe’s pivot, but part of an irrational orbit among myriad other heavenly bodies.