It’s a new year and people are thinking about resolutions to kick off 2019.
If you need fresh inspiration this week, take heart and keep reading.
One of my favorite heros of the past is William Borden (1887-1913). The only son of wealthy parents (think Borden Milk Company), he was given a trip around the world as a high school graduation gift when he was 16 years old.
On that trip, Bill became particularly touched by the hurting people he saw in China. When he wrote home that he was planning to be a missionary, friends said the personable young man was “throwing away his life.” Who would manage the family fortune someday? His father tried to talk him out of what he thought was a rash plan.
Bill wrote in his Bible, No Reserves. It would prove to be prophetic.
After returning from his around-the-world trip, Bill began his studies at Yale University. One day Yale’s president gave a lecture about “having a fixed purpose.” However, after looking at the morally-bankrupt student body and humanistic faculty, Borden was disturbed that the president failed to say HOW to gain that fixed purpose. It made him determined to be the one to find it.
Sometime during his first semester at Yale, Borden began meeting with a friend to read the Bible and pray before breakfast. By the end of the year, 150 freshmen were meeting weekly for Bible study and prayer.
But that was only the beginning. Borden was famous for having a heart for the down-and-out around New Haven. He founded the Yale Hope Mission to rehabilitate alcoholics, going into trashy parts of the city to cheap lodging houses or restaurants, finding hungry derelicts, giving them a meal and directing them to the One who could change lives forever.
It was then that he wrote the next of the three phrases for which he was famous. In his Bible he next penned the words, No Retreat. And he meant it. Turning down lucrative job offers after finishing at Yale, he entered graduate work at Princeton Seminary to prepare for missionary work in China.
He then traveled to Egypt to study two difficult languages, Arabic and Chinese, in preparation for work among the Chinese people.
Unfortunately, Borden never realized his dream of taking the gospel to China. After only a month in language school, spinal meningitis claimed his life.
Bill’s father was distressed upon hearing the news of his son’s untimely death. Grief hung heavy in the air.
One day a package arrived from one of Bill’s close friends. In it was their son’s personal Bible. Thumbing through the volume, the distraught father came across three phrases on the back flyleaf which explained his son’s extraordinary purpose in life.
Under the words No Reserves and No Retreats were the faith-inspiring words, No Regrets.
Twenty-five-year-old Bill Borden stepped into the presence of Christ, never missing becoming the billionaire his father intended. He accomplished more in his short life than others did in twice the time.
So, what about our tiny resolutions? The eternally-worthy ones can be accomplished with the help of Borden’s God.
Let’s resolve to make the most of 2019, with eternity’s values in view.
How about you? What resolutions have you made this year?