Do you know the name Bill Borden? What about the name William Whiting Borden? Don't be too hard on yourself if the name stumped you. You can read a pretty good account of his story here.
I was recently reminded of Borden's amazing story while reading "Israel My Glory", a periodical of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. In the September/October 2010 issue, Richard Emmons writes a moving article on the life of William "Bill" Borden.
Borden was born into a wealthy, Chicago-area family in 1887. He was also clearly an intelligent and motivated young man as he attended Yale University. Emmons relates in his article that Borden began a prayer meeting with one fellow student during his first semester at Yale. By the end of his first year, Borden had gathered 150 classmates on a regular basis for prayer and Bible study. In his senior year, Borden saw approximately 1,000 out of the 1,300 students at Yale in such prayer groups. Talk about making a difference for God's glory. Borden held his family wealth loosely and, instead, he choose to follow the path that God's Spirit had directed him to. This, he believed, would end up with his ministry to the Muslim Kansu people in China.
Borden's life ended abruptly at the age of twenty-five in Cairo, Egypt, after he had contracted spinal meningitis. Bill Borden never saw the mission field that he believed God had called him to. Yet, all along his journey, Borden labored faithfully in the field that God had placed him. He is famous for six short words which were penned, two-by-two-by-two, in the flyleaf of his Bible. The words were simply: No Reserve. No Retreat. No Regret.
Richard Emmons concludes his article with these words:
If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king. If your life were to end tomorrow, what would mark your legacy? Your grave or your gratuity?Bill Borden was called by a classmate, the one who first began praying with Borden at Yale, "A missionary, first, last, and all the time". What about your life? What about my life? Do we have...No Reserve...No Retreat...No Regrets...when it comes to working for God's kingdom? Are we holding loosely the things of the world so that God can use us to the utmost for His highest praise and glory?
What does reading Bill Borden's story mean to you?