No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets

Any regrets?  Read my latest blog post about an inspirational man that followed his dreams.

William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school in 1904. His wealthy parents gave him a trip around the world as a graduation present. While on this trip, he felt a growing burden for the poor, hurting people of the world. He wrote home about his desire to be a missionary. A friend couldn’t believe that Bill was giving up a family fortune to become a missionary. In response, he wrote in the back of his Bible: “No reserves.”


Even though he was wealthy, he attended Yale as an ordinary student. His classmates soon recognized that he was a committed Christian. During his first year, he started a prayer meeting that transformed campus life. By the end of his senior year, a thousand of Yale’s thirteen hundred students were meeting for prayer before breakfast every morning. Upon his graduation from Yale, he turned down some high-paying job offers. Bill Borden wrote two more words: “No retreats.”


Upon completing his graduate work at Princeton University, he sailed for China. Since he was hoping to work with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he came down with spinal meningitis. Within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead. Prior to his death, underneath the words “No reserves” and “No retreats,” he wrote: “No regrets.”


Mary Taylor wrote in her introduction to his biography about his death, “A wave of sorrow went round the world … 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.”