Billy Borden, already wealthy when he graduated from high school, was heir to the largest dairy fortune in the country. For graduation, Borden’s family gave him a trip around the world. It was a life-changing experience. This young man was accustomed to living in the lap of luxury, but as he traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, he felt a growing burden for the world's hurting people.
Finally, he wrote home about his desire to become a missionary. He wrote an entry in his journal that said, “Say no to self; say yes to Jesus every time.” He cared deeply about widows and orphans and the disabled. He rescued drunks from the streets.
He decided to be a missionary in China, but died before he got there. Beside his bed, someone found his Bible with a simple inscription, “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets.”
When the news of Borden's death reached the U.S., nearly every American newspaper carried the story. 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.
In a world where people strive to get more, the lesson of Borden’s life expresses that in the world of Jesus we give to get what is imperishable. Borden had it all from the world’s perspective, but he gave it all up to get all that Jesus had to offer.
Was Borden's untimely death a waste? Not in God's perspective.
Lord, help me to be a giver of my self, my possessions, my pride and my position to gain that which only Jesus can give. Amen.
Go deeper — Have you considered that the best way to receive is to give? What are you grasping in your hands today? Give it up to gain what only Jesus can provide.
Photo Credit: Elaine Casap