Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Life of No Reserve, No Retreat, and No Regret

William Borden had a heart for Jesus and for making Him known.

A graduate of Yale and Princeton Seminary, Borden set sail to minister to Muslims in Cairo, Egypt. But, a month after his arrival, he contracted spinal meningitis and died. He was only 25. While at Yale, Borden had been instrumental in one of the largest college christian movements to date. What started out as an early morning prayer meeting with himself and another classmate his freshman year, soon spread into small groups and prayer meetings of over 1000 participants his senior year (at a college of 1300 students).

Borden was not only a catalyst on campus, but outside it as well. One of his friends wrote that he "might often be found in the lower parts of the city at night, on the street, in a cheap lodging house or some restaurant to which he had taken a poor hungry fellow to feed him, seeking to lead men to Christ."

A heir to the Borden Dairy estate, Borden was a millionaire. But he didn't act like one. When asked by a friend why he didn't own a car, Borden replied simply, "I cannot afford it."

Many expressed regret that he was "throwing himself away" as a missionary, when they thought he could do so much more with his life. Apparently, Borden had come to terms with the perishables of wealth, and wanted to invest in something imperishable. By his late teens, his eyes were already wide open to the person of Jesus Christ.

In her biography on Borden, Mary Taylor writes, "Borden not only gave (away) his wealth, but himself, in a way so joyous and natural that it (seemed) a privilege rather than a sacrifice."

Six, poignant words were found in the back of Bordens bible. They were:

No reserve.

No retreat.

No regret.


Lord help us to live as a man who has everything, and lives in such a way that he can not keep it all to himself. Thank you.

1 comment:

sjones6 said...

Aaron,
An excellent post about Borden. I did not know his story. Those six words, which I like being applied to the way of Christ, is the Samurai code, and is derivative of Zen teaching. I have no idea if Borden knew that or simply came up with it by reading the Gospel, but either way, it clarifies Christ's presence in a powerful way.
Peace of Christ to you, Brother!
Seth