Sleepwalking through Life

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Think a minute…This is a true story about an American president you have probably never heard of. In March, 1849, President James Polk was finishing his term as the U.S. president. The newly elected president, Zachary Taylor, was scheduled to start his term on 4 March.

But 4 March, 1849 was a Sunday, and Zachary Taylor was a very religious man, so he refused to take his oath of office on a Sunday. But according to the U.S. constitution, President Polk could not remain in office even one day longer than his four-year term. 

So who would be the president for that one day? The U.S. constitution instructed that the head of the Senate would temporarily be president until the new president could take his oath of office. The head of the Senate at that time was David Atchison.

So for those 24 hours—from 12:00 noon on 4 March until 12:00 noon on 5 March, 1849—David Atchison was the legal president of the United States…and the American President you have probably never heard of. But that’s not the whole story. 

President Polk’s last week in office was a very busy one. Senator David Atchison did not miss a day of work—but neither did he miss all the farewell celebrations and parties for President Polk.

So when Senator Atchison finally went to sleep late on Saturday night, 3 March, he was so exhausted he told his landlady not to awaken him for any reason at all. She faithfully followed his instructions not to wake him, not even in time for him to publicly take office as the president!

In fact, Senator Atchison was so tired that he slept all day Sunday through noon on Monday, 5 March. David Atchison, president of the United States, actually slept through his entire term of office! What a record and legacy!

Sadly, some of us almost sleep through our life. Not physically, of course. But we sleepwalk through life by simply going through the motions of surviving from one day to the next. This is tragic since we are made to live a fully purposeful and satisfying life that makes a difference in the world.

Today, won’t you ask Jesus to take full charge of your life? He will give you your real purpose and passion He created you for, plus the power you need to daily live it. His way is the only way you will not have to sleepwalk through one more day of your life.

Just think a minute… 

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