Tuesday, August 02, 2005

No regrets...

Our pastor shared a story about a young missionary named William Borden who was the heir to a fortune in the early 1900's, but instead of living a life of inherited luxury, he pledged his life to God and went to school so that he could become a missionary. He went to Egypt to study Arabic but contracted meningitis and died soon after in his mid-twenties. In his Bible, he had inscribed the words "no reserve, no retreat, no regrets" in his Bible.

It was a story that touched me deeply because it resonated with my heart.

No reserve - I don't want to hold anything back from God. My life either belongs to Him or it doesn't. He's either in control or I am. I have seen the goodness of the Lord in the earth - even in the midst of terrible circumstances - and I must believe He knows what He is doing - even when I don't.

No retreat - there is no going back. I came to a place during college that I realized that I had come to that exact turning point. "Either I am going to go all the way with God or this stops here." It was like facing that fork in the road and I knew that decision would change the course of my life. That's when God became my "all in all". He was no longer something I was when I was surrounded br friends or in church. He was my very life source and I knew there would be no going back.

No regrets - My dad's life was full of "somedays" when I was growing up. His plans were always "down the road". He died last fall never doing many of the things I know he wanted to - too preocuppied with the busyness of life to actually live it. I don't want to, as far as I am able, get to the end of my life and wish I had done it differently. That's why we take family vacations even though money is tight. That's why I stay home with my kids instead of working so that we could live more comfortably. That's why I seize the opportunities that come even when there are obstacles to overcome.

It's not that I don't make mistakes (there are plenty) or that I don't struggle like everyone else. But there is just something that's settled in my heart that lets me move forward even if there is no one else around to cheer me on (other than my sweet husband who always encourages me). The course that God has laid before me is for me. Not for the friend that sits across from me at lunch or my next door neighbor. It's a uniquely designed course just for me. It doesn't really matter that no one else knows how hard it is to run it - God knows - and He's with me every step of the way.

It's exactly how Jesus lived His life on the earth too. No reserve - He poured it all out for us. No retreat - He never turned aside from what He came to do. And no regrets - He counted our lives worth the sacrifice of His.

Now that is something to celebrate.