The Borden family is remembered these days primarily for two things… the dairy enterprise named for them and Lizzy, who was accused (But not convicted) of killing her mother and father. But there was once a much more famous Borden. His name was William.
William Borden was born into a family of wealth and prosperity. He came to Christ under the preaching ministry of D.L. Moody. For his high school graduation his parents gave him a trip around the world. While on this trip he sensed God’s call to missions among the Muslims of the far east.
This met with considerable resistence from his family… his friends… and virtually everyone around him. They couldn’t believe a person of his station in life would “waste” it in a foreign country doing missions. Yet William would not be deterred from his call. In the back of his Bible he wrote two words… “No Reserves.” About the same time he wrote in his journal… “Say no to self and yes to Jesus every time.” Although he was a millionaire, William seemed to realize always that he must be about his Father’s business, and not wasting time in the pursuit of amusement.
Upon graduation from Yale, William turned down several lucrative job offers and studied at Princeton Seminary. It was during this time he gave away all his inheritance to missions organizations… and upon finishing his studies he set sail for China to fulfill his call to missions. He stopped in Cairo, Egypt to learn Arabic in preparation to evangelize Muslims in the far east.
While studying in Cairo, William contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead. After his death, William Borden’s Bible was found and given to his parents. In it they found in one place the words “No Reserve” and a date placing the note shortly after he renounced his fortune in favor of missions. At a later point, he had written “No Retreat,” dated shortly after he was diagnosed with meningitis. Shortly before he died, he added the phrase “No Regrets.”
Did he waste his life? How did God taking a young man of great promise fit into the kingdom?
William’s life has since inspired thousands of people to go into misions and collectively they have had more of an impact that just one person could have. Then in memory of William the Borden family donated funds to build the Borden Memorial Hospital in Lanzhou, Gansu, China. There is but one thing he wrote that has survived which is titled, “What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?” Yet there are thousands of lives he impacted while in college and seminary.
The thousands of people William touched for Christ will only be known in eternity. He lived his life for God’s glory with… “No Reserves… No Retreats… No Regrets.”
Are we living with no reserves… no retreats… and no regrets? 2 Timothy 2:7…