Sunday, March 29, 2009

Straight paths

Proverbs 3:6
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

God calls us to a life of constant communication with Him. This is the only way we can live above our circumstances. Even though we sometimes wish for things to be simplifed, he just wants us to accept each day just as it comes and find Him in the midst of it all.

Talking with Him about every aspect of our lives brings us closer to Him. He wants to know how we feel and wants us to know He is listening. It is living by faith that we receive blessing beyond anything we could choose for ourselves. We may have times we think He is not listening, but He is. If we sometimes lose sight of knowing He hears us, all we need do is look into the lives of others and it becomes clear He does listen and does hear. I'm reminded of a lady that sat on the other side of the car and asked her husband what had happened to their marriage complaining they didn't sit close to each other any more. His answer was...I didn't move.

No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets

In 1904 William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. As heir to the Borden Dairy estate, he was already a millionaire.

For his high school graduation present, his parents gave him a trip around the world. As he traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, Borden felt a growing burden for the world's hurting people. Finally, he wrote home to say, "I'm going to give my life to prepare for the mission field." After making this decision, William Borden wrote two words in the back of his Bible: "No Reserves."

During his first semester at Yale, Borden started a movement that transformed the campus. One of his friends described how it happened: "It was well on in the first term when Bill and I began to pray together in the morning before breakfast. I cannot say positively whose suggestion it was, but I feel sure it must have originated with Bill. We had been meeting only a short time when a third student joined us and soon after a fourth. The time was spent in prayer after a brief reading of Scripture. Bill's handling of Scripture was helpful. . . . He would read to us from the Bible, show us something that God had promised and then proceed to claim the promise with assurance."

Borden's small morning prayer group was the beginning of the daily groups of prayer that spread to the whole campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshman were meeting for weekly Bible study and prayer. By the time he was a senior, one thousand out of Yale's 1,300 students were meeting in such groups.

Borden's missionary call narrowed to the Muslims in China. Once that goal was in sight, Borden never wavered. Upon graduation from Yale, Borden turned down some high paying job offers. He also wrote two more words in his Bible: "No Retreats."

William Borden went on to graduate work at Princeton Seminary in New Jersey. When he finished his studies at Princeton, he sailed for China. Because he was hoping to work with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month 25-year-old William Borden was dead.

When news of the death of William Whiting Borden was cabled back to the U.S. from Egypt, "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."

Was Borden's untimely death a waste? Not in God's plan. Prior to his death, Borden had written two more words in his Bible. Underneath the words "No Reserves" and "No Retreats," he had written: "No Regrets."

Portions reprinted from Daily Bread, December 31, 1988, and The Yale Standard, Fall 1970 edition.

Proverbs 3:6
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

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