During the 2009 Missions Emphasis week here at Bob Jones University, we were introduced to a young man's life story: a story that is still having an incredible impact even though he was born over a hundred years ago.
Young William Borden had it all. As the heir to the Borden family fortune, he was a millionaire. When he graduated from high school, his graduation gift from his parents was an extended trip around the world! As a student at Yale, he was well-liked and popular. Yet it was not any of these things that made a lasting impact on the world: it was his faith.
As a devoted Christian, William desired to serve his Lord with all of his heart. While still in high school, he expressed the feeling that God was calling him to be an overseas missionary. After a friend told him that he was "throwing himself away to become a missionary," William wrote two words on the back page of his Bible: "No Reserves."
After graduating from Yale, William followed through in becoming a foreign missionary, turning down several highly-lucrative job offers. Again he wrote two words in the back of his Bible: "No Retreats."
At the young age of 25, William Borden was dead. He had gone to Egypt to study the Muslim culture and Arabic and help in the local mission work; his goal was to eventually become a missionary to Muslims in China. While there in Egypt, William contracted spinal meningitis, and he passed away before his mother and sister could arrive. Borden's death was international news. Major newspapers around the world carried the story of the young millionaire who had given everything to be a missionary.
Under the other quotations in the back of his Bible, there were found yet two other words: "No Regrets."
"No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets" - Later that evening when the full impact of this story hit home,Taylor penned the poem bearing this quotation as the title. Later he showed the poem to Ethan, who then composed a four-part vocal score for the words as well as a solo vocal arrangement. This was their first collaboration.
"No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets"
Though the trail may be sharp and full of curves,
I follow the Lord, I have no reserves.
Trusting in God and in His perfect plan,
I'll take the Word to a far and strange land.
Though hell’s arrows and darts around me beat,
The Lord is my tow’r, I shall not retreat.
I'll not run from the trials God allows;
He'll grant me strength as before Him I bow.
Though my work and my name men may forget,
I work for the Lord, I have no regrets.
I'm in the center of God's perfect will;
His way is best, whether for good or ill.