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President for a Day
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Jul 1, 2000, 21:55

Can you name the Presidents of the United States? From the list that follows which one was not President of the US? George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, James Polk, David Rice Atchison, Zachary Taylor, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, or George Bush. As you ponder, you realize there are many more presidents, but have all the men listed served in that office?

The answer is yes, all of the men mentioned have served as President. Now some of you students of history are stuck on the name of David Rice Atchison. You donít remember his presidency Iíll bet. If you canít remember him as president, it is OK, to be honest, he didnít remember much about his presidency either.

I was reading about him recently and I thought to myself, if I were president for a day, what would I do? David Rice Atchison had the opportunity to answer that question for one day in 1849. It was time to swear in the new president of the US, Zachary Taylor. Inauguration day fell on a Sunday, but Taylor did not want to be sworn in until Monday. President James K. Polk officially concluded his duties on Saturday, which left Sunday, March 4 as a day that a president was needed. The only solution was to fill the vacancy with the next in line, President Pro Tem David Atchison of the Senate. It was his role to be President for the day.

What kind of impact did the President for the day have on history? Absolutely none! He was exhausted from finishing all the business left in Congress on President Polkís last day. It was very late on Saturday night when Atchison went to bed. So he decided it best to rest. In summary, Acting United States President David Atchison spent his entire one day term in bed, snoring away. All reports say that he rested well.

To me it is intriguing to think about being the president for a day. But I think it pales in comparison to having the privilege and power of God behind us as we work to make the world different. Jesus said, ďAs long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me.Ē (John 9:4 NIV). I guess that makes us Godís representative, which is a much more important job than being the president. Make sure you donít snooze the opportunity away.

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